your say on changes to children's centres in Burnham area
consultation on potential changes to the way support is provided
to families, including the role of Sure Start Childrens Centres,
has launched this week.
Somerset County Council says anyone with an interest is encouraged
to give their views on the 'Family Support Service' proposals could
lead to changes for users of Highbridge Children's Centre and Burnham-On-Sea's
Octopus Children's Centre.
The authority says the plans would fully join-up the County Councils
'GetSet' service (which includes Childrens Centre support
for 0 to 4-year-olds and support for families with children aged
0 to 19) with the support offered by Health Visitors and School
More support would be offered through community venues, in peoples
homes and online, concentrating council spend on supporting families
rather than running expensive buildings, at a time when Government
funding has been reduced.
Details of the proposals, further information and a questionnaire
to complete can be found online
here and in childrens centres.
Under the proposals, there would be a move from the current arrangement
of 24 Sure Start Childrens Centres to a network of eight Family
Centres serving the whole county and located in the areas of highest
need and demand.
These eight centres would act as main hubs for services
and coordinate the work in the surroundings area. The other 16 buildings
that currently have Sure Start Childrens Centre status would
continue to offer early childhood services including education and
nursery places to help meet the demand for spaces.
Cabinet member for Children and Families, Councillor Frances Nicholson,
said: "We know the subject of change to this support, especially
childrens centre services, is very emotive and we want as
many people as possible to share their views."
"Our driving principle is to get support to those who need
it most as early as possible so it can have the biggest impact.
Buildings dont support people, staff and the support they
deliver do - the services will remain, it is how and where they
are delivered that may change."
"By working differently, we believe we can help children and
families achieve better outcomes and make our money go further."
The closing date for responses is 1st December, 2017. The information
gathered will help shape final proposals that will be considered
by councillors early in 2018.