Despite local authorities across the country opting to close children’s centres to help reduce budget gaps, Lambeth Council has pledged to keep all existing centres open this year.
Against the backdrop of the most challenging financial climate in decades Lambeth Council has ensured all 27 of the borough’s network of Sure Start children’s centres will continue to provide a range of popular and much-needed services to families with children under five years old. Sure Start is a programme designed to deliver the best start in life for every child and brings together early education, childcare, and health and family support services to meet the needs of parents and children – all in one place. This vital service impacts on children’s health and learning as well as parents’ wellbeing and employability.
Lambeth has lost over £6million in grants for children’s services, which is on top of the £79million of savings the council must make. But despite these cuts Lambeth has earmarked more than £13million to spend on early years services. As a result the service is accessible to all however children from disadvantaged backgrounds who are in greatest need will be prioritised for support.
Cllr Pete Robbins, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Service, said:
“Intervening early to protect vulnerable children remains a top priority for the council and we will continue to help parents give their children the best possible start to life. I’m proud that we have found a way to protect all of our children’s centres which proves we are committed to protecting front line services for those that need them most.”