In July 2009 the Children, Schools and Families Committee requested that the National Audit Office update some of the findings of our 2006 value for money report on Sure Start Children’s Centres (HC104, Session 2006-07). The main areas requested for updating were cost analysis and our consideration of cost effectiveness.
This memorandum has been prepared in response. It is based primarily on surveys of local authorities and children’s centres, analysis of administrative data and interviews with authority and centre staff. We collected and analysed 300 centres’ costs. The results of our analyses are indicative rather than definitive, because the diversity of centres’ operations and financial sophistication means that data they provide cannot be fully comparable or reliable.