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Evaluation of Children’s Centres in England (ECCE)

Strand 1: First Survey of Children’s Centre Leaders in the Most Deprived Areas

This report is the first output from the Evaluation of Children’s Centres in England (ECCE), a six year study commissioned by the Department for Children Schools and Families (now the Department for Education) and undertaken by NatCen Social Research, the University of Oxford and Frontier Economics.

Children’s centres are intended to be one of the main vehicles for ensuring that integrated and good quality family services are located in accessible places and are welcoming to all. They aim to support young children and their families, particularly the most disadvantaged, to reduce inequalities in child development and school readiness, ‘narrowing the gap’ in children’s outcomes between rich and poor. The mechanism for achieving this is through supporting children’s personal, social and emotional development, improving parenting aspirations and skills, providing access to good early education, and addressing family health and life chances.

The aim of ECCE is to provide an in-depth understanding of children’s centre services, including their effectiveness in relation to different management and delivery approaches and the cost of delivering different types of services.