A UK government programme announced as designed to deliver an optimal start in life for every child by bringing together early education, childcare, health, and family support. The responsibility for delivering this programme rests within the Department for Children, Schools, and Families. Sure Start supports families, from the outset of pregnancy right through until children are 14, and up to age 16 for children with special needs. The guiding principles for service provision are: working with parents and children; services for everyone; flexibility at point of delivery; starting very early; operating in a way that is both respectful and transparent; providing community‐driven and professionally coordinated services; and outcome‐driven provision. These aims are now embedded within the Every Child Matters agenda and the Children Act 2006.
The policies and programmes of Sure Start apply in England only, covering a wide range of programmes, both universal and those targeted on particular local areas or disadvantaged groups within England.
http://www.surestart.gov.uk/aboutsurestart/about/thesurestartprogramme2/ Provides further information.