Who should receive help from the children’s centres?
A consultation is underway seeking feedback on four possible options for delivering important services to local families. The centres are run by Central Beds Council.
Since the last reorganisation of children’s centres in 2011 there has been an increased focus on early help and intervention, whereby services are targeted at those families who need them the most. The idea behind this is to concentrate resources on the most vulnerable families. These targeted services include things like intensive parenting support, working with Job Centre Plus to provide training and employment opportunities to help parents into work and other measures to tackle child poverty and reduce health inequality.
The four options outline who will be able to access services and what sort of support will be provided from the existing nine children’s centre hubs.
The four possible models are: - Offer services to all children aged zero to five and their families
- Offer services to children aged zero to three and their families within areas with the highest need
- Offer services to children aged zero to five and their families within areas with the highest need
- Offer universal services to children aged zero to three and their families
Whichever model is selected universal services like weighing and baby clinics, breastfeeding support, two year-old checks, speech and language drop-ins and others will continue to be offered by all the hubs.
Councillor Mark Versallion, executive member for children’s services, said: “Since we last consulted the early years landscape has significantly changed, not least with the increasing focus and importance of early help.
“The proposals reflect these changes and recognise the important role played by community and voluntary groups as well as the private sector in offering a wide range of services for local families.
“We are looking forward to hearing what people have to say during the process as we work together to put in place a model which best meets the needs of families in Central Bedfordshire.”
The consultation runs until Tuesday, August 19, you can have your say online at www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/consultations