7 July 2014

Consultation starts on children’s centre charges proposal

Consultation is now underway on a proposal for Brighton & Hove City Council to start charging for some children’s centre groups.

Following a reduction in funding from central government over the next few years, charging for some services is seen as an alternative to stopping some services altogether.

The plan to consult on charging is part of the council’s budget strategy for this year, and was formally agreed by the council’s Children & Young People committee in June. The proposal is to charge a set rate of £3 per child per 90 minute session for the following groups:

  • Drop-in groups such as stay and play, dads’ stay and play, toddler and you; jump for joy and children’s centre drop-in groups run in libraries.

There is no proposal to charge for the following services:

  • healthy child clinics, baby groups and a range of targeted and invitation groups, courses and crèches

The payments would be made using the school-wide parent payment system Parent Pay.

Parents on low incomes or who have disabilities, looked after and adopted children or those subject to a care plan would not be charged.

The proposal, subject to the consultation, is to introduce the charges in January. The consultation ends on 12 September and the decision whether to introduce charging will be made by the Children and Young People committee in October.

To give your views in this consultation please visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/children-centre-survey.