Update on Children’s Centre Services
Local Area Consultations
In November, Cabinet Member Frances Nicholson said the Council would give people more chance to have a say before decisions are taken about individual Children’s Centres.Following the message from ate !ovell in mid"#anuary, this is a further update on how we will be doing this.Firstly, as I am now personally involved in this work, I’d like to reiterate the thinking behind it.$he Council is committed to keep the range of delivery options open for Children’s Centre %ervices. $hat includes the e&isting Children’s Centres themselves and the '() or so other *points of delivery’ across the County. %omerset is geographically large and comple&+ we believe we need a broad range of options if we are to do this well.Children’s Centres need to be a part of our arly -elp offer and a very important part of that offer. $he Council has already decided to organise around / *-ubs’ across the County that will use e&isting Children’s Centres+ the other Children’s Centres will be amongst the *%pokes’ that connect with those -ubs and provide services on the front line.0f the (' e&isting Children’s Centres, for 12 there are no changes proposed, though some will become -ubs and some may grow to provide even more services.3hatever you may have read or heard in the media, we are committed to increasing our early offer to families and will use not only Children’s Centre sites, but an increased number of outreach workers as well at least 2) of them.3e will fund those new outreach arrangements by changing how we use the Children’s Centre buildings. 0utreach is an important strand of our work and allows us to work with families who either do not live near enough to a Children’s Centre to go to it or cannot do so for other reasons. 3e will take our services to their communities and homes.
Giving people their say
$he ne&t step is to give people the chance to have their say on our plans.$hat is now underway.'4 centres were originally highlighted for change and we are committed to giving people a chance to share their views before making decisions about these individual centres.-ow we approach this needs to be appropriate and proportionate to any proposed change.5lease note6
There will be no proposals to close Children’s Centres
. %ervices will continue to be provided in the communities where they are found now, through the current Children’s Centre buildings and other suitable venues.3e have now been able to speak to most of the relevant interested parties, notably schools, about different ways of doing things.