Children’s centres in Wolverhampton are revealed to be under threat as Government funding to the city is cut. Specifically, a Wolverhampton Council statement and consultation says “the Government is reducing the amount Wolverhampton receives through the Early Intervention Grant. The Early Intervention Grant is used to fund Wolverhampton’s 17 children’s centres. This means the city council faces having to make savings of £1.5M from children’s centres”.
The council is asking for your input, which you can offer by completing this survey. It’s worth keeping in mind that children’s centres are not just nurseries and benefit those other than families with young children. Taking the local example of Wednesfield’s Children’s Village, one of those under threat, the centre website describes a range of services:
- Childcare Mon-Friday, 8-6pm
- Stay and Play sessions for dads
- Seasonal activities
- Parent-to-be Group
- Breastfeeding Group
- Baby massage
- Quitting smoking advice
- Family support service
- Baby club
- Training courses: a range including first aid, numeracy and IT
The loss or cutback of these services would really impact on our communities, especially given there are 17 such children’s centres in the Wolverhampton area under consideration. Outside Wolverhampton, others are facing similar cuts to their centres.
However, it is worth noting that these cutbacks are being enforced by the Government, not the council themselves, hence the Council’s desire to consult with the public as much as possible. Completing the council’s petition is advised, as it gives parents, parents-to-be, and families the opportunity to have their say in how to deal with the cutbacks.
In addition to this, parents have set up an online petition to the government, asking them to reconsider the cuts. You can sign the petition here.
Photo by geinography, used under Flickr Creative Commons licence.