Early intervention and prevention: lessons from the Sure Start programme

Karen Clarke

in Prevention and youth crime

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9781847422637
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303060 | DOI:
Early intervention and prevention: lessons from the Sure Start programme

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The concept of social exclusion has been central to New Labour's social policy since its election in 1997. The Sure Start programme, announced in 1998 and expanded by 2004 to include 400,000 children under four and their families, has been a central element in the government's long-term strategy to prevent social exclusion by breaking the cycle that plays a significant part in its (re)production. This chapter looks at how the problem of the intergenerational reproduction of social exclusion has been conceptualised by the New Labour governments and how this is reflected in policy. It examines the evolving policy interventions since 1997 with parents of preschool children designed to ‘break the cycle’, and what this conceptualisation of social exclusion and the policies associated with it leave out. The initial announcement in 1998 was for a programme of 250 Sure Start Local Programmes in areas of high deprivation. Sure Start has been transformed from an early intervention policy to the provision of universal preschool services that integrate health, education, advice and support in Sure Start children's centres across the United Kingdom.

Keywords: United Kingdom; early intervention; Sure Start; New Labour; social policy; social exclusion; preschool children; Sure Start Local Programmes; universal preschool services; children's centres

Chapter.  7381 words. 

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