The Council and democracy Consultation: options for changes to Sure Start Children's Centres

What changes are being proposed?

This consultation is now closed

We are proposing to regroup our centres into 12 new areas to mirror the way that local health and social care services are organised.

The new areas will bring together a range of community, health and prevention services organised across 12 neighbourhoods. This will strengthen the connections between community health, GPs and social care workers who will work together in neighbourhood teams. The proposal brings Sure Start provision into line with the 12 new areas to provide a more joined up approach to supporting families and children.

The proposal would also help us to deliver Sure Start services more closely with other services available to families like early help, health visitors, community nurses and schools - sharing knowledge and skills.

By sharing knowledge we can refocus and target what we do to better support those families and areas with the most need. More joined up delivery should also mean we are more efficient and avoid duplication.

We are also proposing that one centre in each group would act as a hub, managing the work of the group across the local area, and that schools would have a much more central role in Children’s Centre groups, leading the work of the group across a local area. This approach will strengthen working across whole families with children from birth to 11 years. The details of the school leadership role will be agreed with local schools during the next 12 months.

Within these 12 areas we will also look to reduce the overall number of designated Children’s Centres by eight. Decisions on where services would continue to be delivered and which centres will no longer operate would be made based on:

  • the local need for those services – looking at rates of poverty and deprivation and measures like school readiness and obesity in children
  • the location of current centres – we currently have some centres located very close to each other.

This would mean that:

  • some areas would have fewer Children’s Centres, however, we would work with voluntary and community groups, local schools and childcare providers to ensure the buildings continue to be used to provide activities for young children
  • some families may have to travel further to access some Children’s Centre services.

However, these arrangements would enable us to have sufficient provision of Children’s Centres to meet need across the city.

Early Years outreach workers, who currently work from the 38 Children’s Centres, will continue to work across the city from the new groups.

These changes would make savings of £180,000.

The eight Sure Start Children’s Centres where we propose a change of use or to stop delivering the full range of services from are:

  • Cheetham Park Children’s Centre
  • Broadhurst Park Children’s Centre
  • St Clements Children’s Centre
  • Chorlton (Nell Lane) Children’s Centre
  • Claremont Children’s Centre
  • Didsbury Park (East) Children’s Centre
  • Didsbury West Children’s Centre
  • Brooklands Children’s Centre

See what this means for your local Children’s Centres.

No decisions have yet been made and this proposal is one of a wide range of changes to council services that are currently being considered.

We will use the feedback you provided to decide whether this proposal is taken forward as part of our budget for the next three years.

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