Health effects of an early years intervention: Evidence from Sure Start

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The health impacts of Sure Start


Over the last two decades, Sure Start Children’s Centres (and their predecessors, Sure Start Local Programmes) have been one of the most important policy programmes in the early years in England. These centres operate as ‘one-stop shops’ for families with children under 5, bringing together a range of support including health services, parenting support programmes, and access to childcare and early education.

16 August 2021

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The health effects of Sure Start


From lagging well behind most European countries in the early 1990s, the UK is now one of the highest spenders on the under-5s in Europe (OECD, 2014). One of the biggest programmes for this age group is Sure Start. It offers families with children under the age of 5 a ‘one-stop shop’ for childcare and early education, health services, parenting support, and employment advice, with the aim of improving children’s school readiness, health, and social and emotional development.

3 June 2019