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  • Consultation launched ahead of potential changes to children’s centres

Consultation launched ahead of potential changes to children’s centres

People are being asked for views on services and support delivered at Leicester’s Children, Young People and Families Centres ahead of potential changes.

Further information

Leicester City Council currently runs 12 children’s centres across the city. They all offer a range of early help services in the community to support parents and carers to give their child the best start in life.

Due to ongoing cuts in government funding and unprecedented pressures facing local authority finances, the city council now needs to consider making savings of around £550,000 per year in the annual running costs of the city’s children’s centres.

This will mean closing some of the existing children’s centre buildings.

However, before any decisions are made, the council wants people’s views on how any changes might affect them and their families, what alternative venues and community settings they would consider using and whether alternative ways of delivering some early help services might be suitable.

The consultation is available online at leicester.gov.uk/consultations and runs until 9 June 2024.

Deputy city mayor Cllr Sarah Russell, who leads on social care and early help, said: “Like other councils across the country we are facing the inevitable consequences of years of Government cuts to our funding. The reality is that we are dealing with the worst financial position that the council has ever faced and can no longer protect all of services from cuts.

“Unfortunately, that means making some very difficult decisions about how we fund our early years services over the next few years.

“Lots of local families really value and benefit from the advice, activities and support on offer at the city’s Children, Young People and Families Centre. That’s why we are so determined to reshape these services in a way that will ensure that this help is available in local communities despite the need to make budget cuts.

“We need to understand how any potential changes will affect families that use our children’s centres – and which alternative venues they think could work – before we make any decisions about closing centres. That’s why it’s important that people let us have their views by taking part in this consultation.

“We know that we can successfully reshape our children’s centres in face of government cuts. Unfortunately, this is the not the first time we’ve had to face the consequences of underfunding of these valuable community hubs.”

In 2017, Leicester City Council was forced to cut the number of local children’s centres from 23 to 12, due to national cuts in the government grant that funded them.

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