Publication Details

NESS Research Team (2004). Towards understanding Sure Start local programmes: Summary of findings from the national evaluation. Nottingham, United Kingdom: Department for Education and Skills.


Sure Start is the Government's programme to support children, families and communities through the integration of early education, childcare, health and family support. Sure Start local programmes are one element of this, based in areas of disadvantage, whose aim is to improve the health and well being of young children under 4 and their families, so that children have a greater opportunity to flourish when they start school. The National Evaluation of Sure Start local programmes has now been in place for 3 years, during which a large amount of information has been collected and reported. This summary draws together some of main published findings from the different strands of the evaluation and in particular highlights some of the newly published findings. These are only a very small selection of findings, intended to provide a flavour and whet the appetite to find out more. At this stage, findings from different parts of the evaluation are reported separately although these will be drawn together more substantially later in the year to assess the overall effect Sure Start local programmes have had on children, parents, families and communities and whether variations in implementation, local community context and costs can explain any differences in effects.