Herts children’s centres to stay open despite budget cuts – £1.9 million saving over three years
- Credit: Archant
Fears that children’s centres in Herts might close have been quashed as the county council reaffirmed its commitment to keeping all 82 open.
Children’s centres in other parts of the UK have been closing en masse as councils struggle to cope with budget cuts, but Herts County Council says it is able to avoid this by making savings and awarding new contracts.
Children’s centres, introduced as part of the government’s Sure Start initiative in 1998, provide support and advice to parents from pregnancy until the little ones are five years old.
Cemi Andrew and her baby boy Isaac go to Broadwater Children’s Centre in Stevenage.
“Isaac suffered with colic in the first few months of his life,” said mum Cemi.
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“I thought I was the only person going through it, but coming along to the children’s centre I spoke to other mums experiencing the same problem.
“It was great to hear I wasn’t alone. I wish I had joined sooner, mainly for the support.”
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Councillor Richard Roberts, who holds the portfolio for children’s services at the county council, said: “I am delighted Cemi and baby Isaac are making full use of their local children’s centre.
“We’ve made sure all of the county’s 82 children’s centres will remain open after awarding new contracts that will save nearly £1.9 million over the next three years.
“Our children’s centres provide a wide range of services that give families the right level of support and confidence they need so they can thrive.”
To find your local children’s centre visit www.hertsdirect.org/childrenscentres.