Children's Centre review 2020

We need your views and ideas as we look to review Suffolk’s Children’s Centre services, broaden family services and extend the number of Early Years places.

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 (PDF)

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.

You can read the accompanying information which provides you with full details of the proposal and how this relates to services in your area of Suffolk: Children's Centre Review 2020 consultation information (PDF, 1.9MB).

This consultation is closed.

As part of the consultation, there will be drop-in sessions to provide families with the opportunity to learn more about the proposal and to take part in the consultation.

List of drop-in sessions
Date Time Location
Tuesday 21 January 10am to 12pm St Marks Church Hall, Lowestoft
Tuesday 28 January 10am to 12pm Whitton Clinic, Ipswich
Tuesday 28 January 2pm to 4pm Stevenson Centre, Great Cornard
Wednesday 29 January 10am to 12pm Woodbridge Library, Woodbridge
Thursday 30 January 10am to 12pm

The Apex, Studio 2, Charter Square, Bury St Edmunds

Cabinet report from July 2019: This includes appendices for surveys completed in centres and details of visits to Children's Centres by members of the PDP group in March 2019.

Download the information for Children's Centres site by site (PDF, 111KB).

Research article on provision of pre-school education.

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