Have your say on nursery cut plans

Reporter:

Ben Goddard

PARENTS are being urged to have their say over council plans to close nurseries as part of spending cuts.

Powys County Council announced earlier this year that it would be carrying out a review into early years provision for children and families across the county.

A series of events are scheduled for providers and families to come and have their say on three-year-olds’ education and early years provision which Nick Griffin, director for Wales with Voice Cymru which represents early years and education professionals, urged all early years staff and parents to protect jobs.

He said: “Voice Cymru will support and advise any members affected by the review who require our assistance.

“Early years provision is a vital service for children and families and the staff who provide it are trained, dedicated, but under-rewarded, professionals. We urge the council not to cut the service or staffing levels but to maintain and develop them. We hope that staff and the public will take part in the review.”

Currently all three-year-old children in Powys are entitled to 10 hours a week of free early years education and the council funds 67 settings across the county to deliver this education.

However, the council says that it is now subject to a number of challenges, such as increased staffing costs and surplus places, which makes the current situation unsustainable.

Councillor Arwel Jones, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “The council is looking to create a sustainable and equitable service across the county, ensuring that families receive a quality service regardless of where they live.

“The review will focus on 3+ funded early years education provision, Flying Start Childcare providers and settings used for the Powys Referral Scheme as well as Children’s Services placements.

“Families who have an interest in early years provision in Powys are encouraged to attend one of the meetings. There are focus groups which need to be booked and also a drop-in session where anyone can come along and find out more.

“It’s important that we hear from providers and parents or carers and that they help us shape future delivery of early years education across the county.”

Parents or carers and providers will need to book to attend a focus group session; places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come basis.

When booking inform them of any access or hearing needs and whether you wish to communicate through Welsh or English. Call 01597 826112 or email children.youngpeople@powys.gov.uk to book your place.

For those unable to attend the sessions there will be an online questionnaire available in June at www.powys.gov.uk/haveyoursay. There will be another chance for families and providers to be involved again with a formal consultation in the autumn.

 

Drop-in sessions

June 3, Newtown Integrated Family Centre: 10am to noon: parent/carer focus group; 1pm to 3pm: provider focus group; 3.30pm to 5.30pm: open door/drop in session (open to all).

June 5, Pavilion, Llandrindod Wells: 10am to noon: parent/carer focus group; 1pm to 3pm: provider focus group; 3.30pm to 5.30pm: open door/drop-in session (open to all).

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