The council is set to discuss a consultation into how Slough children’s centres will look in the future.
The council currently has 10 children’s centres across the borough; however, change is being proposed because a recent review has highlighted the capacity to identify and target those most in need of support is limited, and whilst the core functions and offer are maintained, they are spread thinly and unevenly across the range of centres and associated localities.
The consultation will last for six weeks and will launch the week beginning 9 January 2023, if Cabinet give the go-ahead.
During the consultation residents will be asked to give their views on the key issues the council should consider regarding the borough’s future children’s centre model.
- There are four proposed options, listed below, which residents will be invited to comment on. To create a new 3 centre model by closing 7 of the existing 10 children’s centres to establish a new model of delivery serviced by the existing centres at Penn Road, Chalvey Grove and Romsey Close. This option would see the 3 retained centres operate on a north, south and east locality basis. This option would include the maintenance of directly delivered early education and childcare from Chalvey Grove and Romsey Close. Stand-alone early education and childcare would also be maintained at Yew Tree Road. (Recommended).
- To create a new 2 centre model by closing 8 of the existing 10 children’s centres to establish a north and south locality model serviced by the existing centres at Penn Road and Chalvey Grove respectively. This option would include the maintenance of directly delivered early education and childcare from Chalvey Grove. Stand-alone early education and childcare would also be maintained at Yew Tree Road.
- To create a new 1 centre model by closing 9 of the existing 10 children’s centres to establish a boroughwide model at Chalvey Grove. This option would see the discontinuation of all early education and childcare currently delivered by SBC.
- To continue with the current provision of 10 centres or to have less of a reduction of centres than proposed above.
Councillor Christine Hulme, lead member children’s services, lifelong learning and skills, said: “We are very proud of all our children’s centres and staff, and this review has been undertaken to see how we can identify and work with those residents most in need of support while making sure the service remains sustainable.
“It’s important that our residents have their say about the changes proposed for our children’s centres, so please engage with the consultation and the drop-in sessions that will be on offer, so we can take your suggestions, priorities and views and use them to help shape the service provided.”
When the consultation launches, there will be an online survey, drop-in sessions at children’s centres and online sessions for residents to share their views.
The Cabinet meeting is on Monday 19 December. More information on the consultation can be found in the Cabinet papers.