Nursery axed from children’s centre

Pictures taken at Field Lane Children's Centre, Rastrick, for an advertising feature.
Pictures taken at Field Lane Children's Centre, Rastrick, for an advertising feature.

THE NURSERY at Field Lane Children’s Centre, Rastrick, is to be axed.

The centre’s nursery on Burnsall Road will cut its childcare and early years education service later in the year due to the lack of families and children using it.

Working closely with Field Lane Primary School, the nursery is a 30 place setting accommodating babies from 6 weeks old to pre-school children aged three to four.

A spokesman for Calderdale Council said: “Calderdale Council has recently reviewed its day care service at Field Lane Children’s Centre. Taking into account the number of vacant childcare places at the centre over the past 12 months, the council is proposing to close the day care service at the Children’s Centre from October 1, 2012. The centre will continue to offer high quality early years education, crèche facilities and support and training for families.

“We are working closely with the very few families who use the day care service to ensure they continue to get the childcare support they need currently and after the closure.”

Calderdale Council spends more than £5.6 million a year on children’s centres, most of which were set up under the last Government’s “SureStart” programme.

In a bid to cut costs and focus services on those who need them most, the cabinet plans to put the work out to tender.

It has been subsidising day care places in some of its centres to the tune of up to £4,400 per child.

There is no such subsidy for other providers.

Lib-Lab councillors agreed at their budget meeting in March, to reduce centre staffing and other costs by £443,000. It was indicated that 63 jobs could go but now there is no set figure.

Children’s centres were set up to help meet the needs of the most disadvantaged families and the 16 in Calderdale are taking part in a Government trial into funding them by results.

They will all be required to achieve agreed outcomes in terms of child development and school readiness, parental aspirations, child and family health and well-being.