children's centres - Haringey budget cuts latest(7 Posts)
LB Haringey published their budget proposals yesterday, here:
Item 61 says:
"Early Years and Childcare - This currently enables us to support and deliver 18 children's centres and our statutory obligations regarding quality and access. The children's centre programme, management , administration and commissioning of services will be reduced and services targeted to the most vulnerable families. The Family Information Service will also be integrated into the new early years structure.
"This will result in a reduction to the number of centres designated as providing the core children's centre offer; those that are resourced to provide the full core offer will be targeted at those areas of most need in line with the original programme intentions."
There are also some numbers:
2011/12 - £5236
2112/13 - £1, 283
No figure at all in the 2013/14 column
This may mean a huge drop in funding and various closures, redundancies etc between 2011 and 2012, although I need to check I have understood the spreadsheet right.
I am planning to ask the Council this week what they think all this will mean in practice and will post anything interesting here.
Thanks for this. It's really good that you keep an eye on this. Please keep us posted.
and I took your message for the blog. Hope that's ok...it's saying something if I'm too tired to rant...
Yes my eye is very closely on this.
The essence of the LB Haringey Surestart nursery cuts seems to be:
Professional Development Centre closes, I think (some redundancies?)
Other 'head office' staff redundancies
Some staff 'sharing' between Children's Centre (possibly meaning some redundancies in the managerial and admin roles?)
Don't know about any nursery nurse redundancies - although there is a council VR round in progress as readers may know and NNs are eligible to apply
Possible reduction in services at some Children's Centres although it seems Directors will have a degree of autonomy about what services - could mean that CC's 'deregister' which would given them more autonomy to decide about the package of services they offered as a whole (eg could keep midwife but lose 'stop smoking' sessions)
The idea seems to be at the moment that all CCs stay open in some guise (including those in Muswell Hill, Crouch End) - but we won't know what the the guise looks like until 'sharing arrangements', de-registering process etc completed.
In addition CC managers have been asked for their ideas on income generation. These might be any or all of a package of:
*fee rises (so that better-off parents pay more, although no sense yet of how means testing of any sort might be done)
*expansion of nursery services where this is possible (eg take more children if you have the room and the staff)
*ancillary - eg rent out nursery for children's parties at the weekend
All those income generation ideas sound quite sensible in principle - as long as CCs are allowed by the council to actually do them, but there is some kind of built-in check on quality also. There is an issue over raised fees re accessibility of course - if you put the fees up you potentially exclude some children whose parents can't afford the new rates, which in turn has a knock on effect for numbers in the nursery overall.
Differential pricing is fine by me - I think it's kind of nuts that prices are currently voted on in a council committee - although I would rather the nursery managers themselves didn't have to administer the system of making the judgments about who has to pay more. How will nursery managers choose the 'profile' of their parents eg how many on the higher rate, how many on the lower - don't know.
Thanks a lot for the update. Great to see you not as much fearing the worst as I am.
I very much hope that you are right and I am wrong:
I am the Cabinet member for Children in Haringey and we have just published the report on the future of Childrens centres for next week's Cabinet meeting. Look at www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?M Id=5014&x=1
We are trying to keep everything open - though with reduced services in parts of the borough but it may not be possible to do this. Your views would be welcome. apologies if I've posted the website wrongly - my first time at this. If it doesn;t work just go to the council website and look up Cabinet papers for Tuesday
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