Children’s Services Changes: Have Your Say

Durham County Council is asking parents, carers and providers of childcare services to under-fives to share their thoughts on the proposed revamp of Children’s Centre services in the area.

The council proposes to move services from specialist buildings to a range of community venues, it is hoped that this will aid the services in reaching those who would benefit most. Under the plan the council will retain 15 specialist, fixed-venue Children’s Centres while the remaining 28 centres will be transferred to schools, nurseries or be used for “alternative purposes”.

Explaining the rationale behind the changes, a spokesperson said, “despite some successes the current reliance on Children’s Centres [has] failed to deliver the improvements hoped for.

“As a result and following a review of Children’s Centres it’s proposed that taking the services to the communities focussing on places families already go, rather than expecting people to travel to fixed specialist venues, will be of greater help”.

Under the Early Years Foundation Stage framework children are expected to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to begin Primary Education. However, in 2013 it was found that only 41.7% of County Durham children had achieved a ‘Good Level’ of development, compared to 52% throughout England as a whole. The council believes that the Children’s Centres proposals and other recent changes will improve the prospects of our area’s youngsters.

To have your say on the proposals and to access further information, click here. Alternatively, call 03000 266 510.