Sure Start programme

During his 1998 comprehensive spending review speech, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, announced £540 million funding for the development of Sure Start, a programme to improve support for children in the early stages of their life.

The programme was intended to deliver 250 local Sure Start centres and a visit from an outreach worker for every mother in Sure Start areas. Evidence had suggested that some children were falling behind before they started school.

The centres would bring together:

  • childcare
  • primary health care
  • early education
  • support for families.

Services would be free to low-income families and chargeable to others.


HM Treasury.
Comprehensive spending review: new public spending plans 1999-2000.
HMSO; 1998.

House of Commons.
Comprehensive Spending Review.
HC Deb 14 July 1998 vol 316 cc187-211.
Hansard; 1998.