0-19 YEARS AND CHILDREN'S CENTRE SERVICES RECOMMENDATIONS APPROVED BY CHESHIRE WEST CABINET
Following a robust public and stakeholder consultation, Cheshire West and Chester Council Cabinet recently approved recommendations to re-configure children's centres into a 'main' and 'linked site' model and commission an integrated 0-19 years single service.
This approach is expected to deliver an innovative and ambitious service for 0-19 year olds which will greatly improve outcomes for children and families in West Cheshire.
The priority in our Council Plan — Helping the Borough to Thrive — is to ensure children, families and young people get the best start in life.
This new integrated single service will be developed as a Starting Well Service and will allow the delivery of an inclusive service for 0-19 year olds.
It is proposed to work flexibly with schools, health and early years education and childcare partnerships.
Aligning health visiting, school nursing and children's centre services will ensure a seamless transition between ages and stages of development.
For example, children will be supported to help them develop well and be ready for school. This will lead to young people developing the right skills to access employment and further education in the future.
Councillor Margaret Parker, Shadow Cabinet Member for Children and Families, provided cross-party agreement by adding: "This is an excellent and ground-breaking approach that will ensure a more cohesive service for children and families. This will place West Cheshire at the forefront of innovation for children's services."
Cuts to local government funding has meant that nationally, many children centres have been closed down or are under threat.
Children's centres offer an important service for children under 5 years and their families. Cheshire West and Chester Council are committed to protecting these services and putting families at the very heart of our communities.
The Starting Well Service will build on current 0-5 offer to support the health and well-being needs of children aged 5-19 as part of a single service.
There will be engagement with children, young people and families in the design and development of the future service.
By creating linked and main sites for the children's centres it will be possible to target services more effectively to appropriately support those in need. This approach will provide the Council with the best opportunity to ensure that these services are financially sustainable.