New Inquiry – Foundation Years – Sure Start Children’s Centres

***Call for evidence***

The Education Committee is today announcing an inquiry into Foundation Years – Sure Start Children’s Centres.

Written submissions of evidence are invited considering the following points:

– the new Core Purpose of Sure Start children’s centres, how this has evolved and is different from the original design and purpose of Sure Start;

– the effectiveness and impact of Sure Start children’s centres to date, including the role of Ofsted inspections;

– the range of services and activities provided at Sure Start children’s centres, and their desired outcomes, and whether/how these differ from family centres, early Sure Start local programmes and early years settings.

– how Sure Start children’s centres compare with similar initiatives in other countries;

– how to define and measure good practice in family and parenting support and outreach, including the effectiveness of the Government’s payment by results trials, and what measures of child development and school readiness might be used;

– how to increase the use of evidence-based early intervention in children’s centres;

– how to strengthen integrated working between health, social care and education as part of a multi-agency early help offer, including how to improve information-sharing and the proposal for children’s centres to have access to a “named social worker”;

– how to increase the involvement of families (especially fathers, disadvantaged families, minority ethnic groups and families of children with SEN and disabled children) in the running of children’s centres and in their regular activities;

– how the overall level and quality of provision is being affected by moves to local funding.

The Committee asks for written submissions in accordance with the guidelines below by *noon* on *19 October 2012*.* *

*Please note* The submission should be sent by e-mail to [email protected] and marked “ *Foundation Years – Sure Start Children’s Centres*”. The Committee’s strong preference is for submissions in electronic form, although hard copy originals will be accepted. Hard copy submissions should be sent to Caroline McElwee, Committee Assistant, at:

Education Committee House of Commons 7 Millbank London SW1P 3JA

Each submission should:

– be no more than 3,000 words in length; – have numbered paragraphs; and – (if in electronic form) be in Word format or a rich text format with as little use of colour or logos as possible.

For Data Protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals submitting written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/witnessguide.pdf

Please also note that:

– Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised. – Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, although not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence. – The Committee does not normally investigate individual cases.

What do you think?