Labour will call for re-think on children’s day care subsidy

Calderdale Council’s Labour group want the Council to think again about its plans to withdraw the subsidy from children’s day care at six locations in Calderdale.

Councillor Megan Swift, Labour’s spokesperson on children’s issues, said: “We’ve heard from a lot of parents who have told us just how important this day care is to them, and how they will struggle if it is lost as a result of the withdrawal of the subsidy. That’s why we think the Council should take back the present proposals and have a longer look at how we can find a better way forward.

“We have always said that front-line services for young children and their families are a priority, and that’s the message that has come back to us loud and clear during the consultation process. So despite the reductions in Government funding through cuts to the Early Intervention and Revenue Support grants, we want to try and make sure that high quality day care remains available for every family that wants it.

“I’m angry that we have been put in such a difficult position by Government cuts. They’ve broken their promise to protect funding for children’s centres and Sure Start, and just before Christmas they announced more cuts in the grant that goes to pay for these services.

“Frankly, it doesn’t make sense to risk the closure of these day care centres, many of which were purpose built or adapted only a few years ago, without taking a bit more time to look at every possible way of continuing to make use of them.

“This does not mean that there will not be further discussions and possible changes to the way day care is provided, but Labour councillors will not be supporting the withdrawal of the subsidy if it risks any of these centres closing in September this year. We want to see a lot more consultation with parents and staff to develop new proposals for each of the centres that are at risk.”

The day care provision at children’s centres potentially affected by the proposals are at Todmorden, Siddal, New Road (Sowerby), Elland, Field Lane, Rastrick and Wellholme Park, Brighouse.