Children's Centres: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 6th October 2020.

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Photo of Abena Oppong-Asare Abena Oppong-Asare Labour, Erith and Thamesmead

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to ensure that no children’s centres are closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The decision on whether to keep Sure Start children’s centres open in response to the COVID-19 outbreak is a decision for local authorities to take.

Local authorities have a duty under the Childcare Act (2006) to ensure that there are sufficient children’s centres to meet the needs of local families, and a duty to consult where permanent changes are planned to local children’s centre provision. If a council decides to close a Sure Start children’s centre on a permanent basis, statutory guidance requires them to demonstrate that local children and families will not be adversely affected.

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