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Children’s centre closures on the rise, government figures reveal

The number of children’s centres almost doubled between 2014 and 2015, new government figures have revealed.
Responding to a parliamentary question submitted by Dan Jarvis, Labour MP for Barnsley Central, early years minister Caroline Dinenage confirmed that 156 children’s centres closed in 2015, compared to 85 the previous year.
Commenting on the figures, Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch said that it was “very worrying” to see that such a significant number of children's centres across the country are continuing to close.
“Children's centres are a vital source of advice and practical support for families – especially those more disadvantaged families – and so for so many to be disappearing at a time when there is so much government rhetoric on 'closing the gap' and improving children's life chances seems completely contradictory,” he said.
“Worse still, a growing number of those children's centres that remain open are unable to offer much more than a skeleton service due to lack of adequate funding, meaning that even more vulnerable families are finding it difficult to access the support they need”
He added: “This is clearly not a sustainable situation and so we urge the government to set out its – now long overdue – strategy for securing the future of children's centres as a matter of priority.”