Charity’s early support in children’s centres halves in two years

The number of families accessing early help from the charity Barnardo’s in children’s centres has halved over the last two years. The charity has revealed in its 2018/19 annual report that 92,000 parents, carers and children accessed its early support through children’s centres. This is down on the previous year’s figure of 143,500 people and almost half 2016/17’s figure of 182,400. The fall in children’s centre support offered to families by the charity comes amid widespread Sure Start closures across England over the last decade. Cuts to council budgets have recently been blamed for the continuing decline in the number of centres being run by Action for Children, the largest operator of settings in the country. The charity ran 120 centres last year but that figure has now slumped to 87. Read more.