At least 400 children’s centres face closure or loss of services, Children & Young People Now have reported.
Analysis by the childcare website reveals that over the last financial year 32 councils across the country have announced plans to close centres in order to make cuts to their operating budgets; have raised the possibility of doing so; or have announced reviews of existing services.
Plans announced by Hampshire County Council affect no less than 43 centres – just 11 of its current 54 are not featured. Meanwhile, 42 centres run by Oxfordshire County Council are also under threat.
Other councils include Darlington and York in the north; Gloucestershire County Council and Telford & Wrekin the west; and Hounslow, Lewisham and Luton in London.
Most current children’s centres were established as part of the Sure Start initiative by the then Labour government between 1999 and 2002. More than 500 have been closed since David Cameron took office in 2010.