Which are the key issues to emerge from the innovative work of Sure Start, in the development of new ways of working for the benefit of young children? What are the implications of the development of inter-agency theory and practice for the planning and delivery of services for children? What does the work being developed through Sure Start have to contribute to the future development of services for children in the UK for the next decade and beyond? The book comes out of a University research project that has worked closely with one local programme over five years from its beginning.Sure Start is a national government initiative that targets families with children aged up to the age of four in areas of social and economic disadvantage, to promote development so children are ready to thrive when they start school. Latterly, there has been increased emphasis on day care to enable parents to join the workforce. The particular Sure Start programme at Foxhill and Parson Cross in Sheffield provided the framework for a wide range of new services within health, education and social services and allowed for innovative practice and inter-agency collaboration.
Those involved in the programme provide accounts of these various services, what methods were employed, what worked and what didn't work, and lessons that can be drawn from their experience that may be helpful for other situations. The implications of this work extend far beyond the immediate context of this particular programme.