HC Deb 26 April 2004 vol 420 c795W
Harry Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what mechanisms he will put in place to ensure that the additional £669 million to fund one children's centre in each of the country's 20 per cent. most disadvantaged wards by 2008, will be used specifically for that purpose; and if he will make a statement. [167255]

Margaret Hodge

The Chancellor announced in the Budget that the overall allocation for Sure Start would be £669 million higher in 2007–08 than in 2004–05. This additional funding will take the Sure Start allocation to £1.167 billion in 2005–06, £1.483 billion in 2006–07 and £1.567 billion in 2007£08.

This allocation is ring fenced for the full range of Sure Start activities, including the expansion of children's centres. The Chancellor announced a number of new commitments in the Budget that that will need to be met from the allocation, including increasing children's centres towards the goal of a children's centre in every community. We are committed to ensuring that these centres provide services for all children in the 20 per cent. most disadvantaged wards by 2007–08. he funding for children's centres will make up a significant part of the full Sure Start allocation and will be subject to full monitoring and financial controls.