12 December 2014

Children’s centres consultation starts

Consultation has started on proposals for how Brighton & Hove City Council might reorganise its children’s centre services in future.

Managers are investigating ways of making savings of £779,000 next year. This has to be seen in the context of rising costs and the council losing around £100m of government funding over the next four years.

The proposals aim to enable the council to deliver the best possible children’s centre services in future. They are part of a drive to focus council resources on services that will deliver the best outcomes for those families who need most help.

Part of the plan is to reduce the numbers of designated Children’s Centres from 12 to eight by merging some of them.

The Healthy Child Programme delivered by Health Visitors as part of the children’s centres service would form the bedrock of a universal service, together with free early education places for low income 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 year olds.

It is envisaged that there would be fewer groups run from children’s centres and other venues which are open to everyone. These groups would be changed from ongoing, drop-in groups (eg baby groups, stay and play groups) to time-limited groups with a booking system.

Parents who need more help would be able to attend more sessions.

To read the full consultation paper and give your views go to www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/cc-consultation.

A meeting of the full council on February 26 will make a final decision on next year’s council budget.