From the TUC

Means-testing Sure Start services

14 Nov 2010, by in Society & Welfare

In an interview with the Observer children’s minister Sarah Teather has said that the government plans to charge middle class parents to use services from Sure Start children’s centres. The number of services to be charged for will increase and a system of “payment by results” will be introduced.

There are 3,500 centres, providing integrated education and childcare, support for parents, health services and help getting jobs. While the centres would keep their “universal front door”, Ms Teather told the paper, she plans to tell local authorities

to target resources towards the “neediest” families and consider charging the better-off for “fun” activities.

3 Responses to Means-testing Sure Start services

  1. Tweets that mention Means-testing Sure Start services | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC —
    Nov 15th 2010, 1:05 am

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  2. J
    Nov 17th 2010, 1:20 pm

    This is the right direction for Sure Start. However it is important to look at what is already provided in the ‘Big Society’ and not simply duplicate services already in existence. Doctors, health visitors, libraries, churches are already provided so much to support parents. There is no point in duplication.

  3. Teadrinking Mom
    Dec 5th 2010, 3:24 pm

    In tight financial times, its difficult to argue against more careful targeting of public funds to those who need it most – Frank Field’s poverty report out this week pushes the agenda in a similar direction…

    But there are real trade-offs from moving away from the universality principle which we ignore at our own peril. The US’s version of Sure Start – Headstart – has always been a targeted programme and we should look closely at their experience. I’m a UK parent living in the US and have blogged on this issue recently