It is vitally important that we continue to make a real and positive difference for children, young people and families throughout Suffolk and ensure we make the best use of the public money we are given to provide public services.
Given the range of social and cultural changes that we all continue to experience through the greater use of technology, the way our communities continue to develop and the way in which we choose to access services for our families, now is the right time to review the services the council provides for young people aged 0 to 19 years old.
Councillor Mary Evans, Cabinet Member for Children's Services, Education and Skills has said:
To prepare for this consultation, we have taken a rigorous approach to review current services through surveys at each Children's Centre and research into what is happening across the country. The feedback, kindly provided by families who currently use Children’s Centres and the range of outreach services we already provide in community buildings, has informed the development of this proposal and we hope you can share your views and ideas with us now as we look to develop these services to meet future demands.
Suffolk County Council has a responsibility to ensure we have enough nursery places for all eligible 2 and 3 year olds, and we know that many areas do not currently have enough nursery places. This means some children are missing out and makes it difficult for some parents to continue working or find work.
We know that good early education has a positive impact on preparing children for school, their learning and their long-term future. It is also important for those parents who want to continue working or take up opportunities to work which suit their family circumstances.
Early Years facts and figures
Download Early Years facts and figures infographic (JPG)
This infographic shows a number of facts and details which currently apply to the services provided by Suffolk County Council for Early Years provision:
- There are currently 776 providers offering 20,095 Ofsted registered places.
- 72% of funded two year olds take up their place and 94% of three and four year olds take up their funded place.
- There is currently a deficit of 3,332 '15 hour' places across Suffolk.
- As 60,000 new houses need to be built in Suffolk over next 20 years, this means the council needs to provide 10,300 extra '15 hour' places to match demand.