Sure Start conference 2007
Sure Start has been the cornerstone of Labour’s drive to tackle child poverty and social exclusion. It is claimed to have lifted one million children out of poverty since its launch in 1998. Yet the government still has much to do if it is to reach its target of halving child poverty by 2010. Earlier this year the UK was put at the bottom of a league
of industrialised nations for child-wellbeing by UNICEF.
The Children and Young People Review, which is informing the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review, has revived Sure Start and will set out how the Government will tackle the renewed problems facing Britain’s children. Focusing on preventing problems, integrating services and supporting parents to end the cycle of low achievement this Review is reaching out to meet the needs of the most vulnerable families with more home visiting while extending Children’s Centres to touch the lives of more children across the UK.
Significant additional funding for Sure Start Centres has been announced to fund this – but is it sufficient? Will it be ring fenced and what will it be spent on? How are practitioners to cope with this change? How will father-inclusive practice play its part?
The 5th Annual Sure Start Conference, Rolling Out Children’s Centres, will take place at the Brit Oval on Thursday 20th September, bringing together a high level of delegates that work in children’s services to seek solutions to these important questions.
Speakers will include Lynda Fisher, Strategic Director of Children, Families and Learning, Portsmouth City Council
and Member of the Sure Start, Extended Schools and Childcare Stakeholder Group; Hugh Thornbery, Director of Children’s Services at NCH and Steve Alexander Chief Executive, Pre-school Learning Alliance. There will also be a workshop run by Fathers Direct’s services manager, David Bartlett, focusing on how supporting father-child
relationships benefits vulnerable children and families.