Effects of changes are starting to bite at Children's Centres

May 09 2018
Effects of changes are starting to bite at Children's Centres

Changes that affect the way Children's Centres across the city (including Stoke Park Children's Centre) operate are now starting to impact.

Huge funding cuts from Government have finally caught up with children’s centres and are now impacting fully on the ongoing work of those centres as well as associated family support work across the city.

This isn’t the end for Children’s Centres however, they are being restructured and will continue, albeit with fewer staff in place and with activities directed through the new area hubs (in North Bristol this is Filton Avenue Nursery & Children’s Centre). As part of this restructure, Greenbank, Eastville Park and Stapleton will no longer be part of the Stoke Park Children’s Centre reach area. The Greenbank area will be supported by St Paul’s, which will be co-ordinating Central Bristol Children’s Centres, and the Eastville Park and Stapleton areas will be supported by Little Hayes, which will be co-ordinating East Bristol Children’s Centres.

The work involved in restructuring is vast and the process has not yet been fully completed. The reason that services have been so affected at Stoke Park Children’s Centre is because of the number of staff who have left employment; this isn’t the case with some other centres. They are hopeful that as they are co-ordinated, managed and quality assured by the Hub, the right front-line services will be in place, and protected, to meet the needs and wants of the area. Some of the ‘projects’ you have used in your droves will continue, including Boing! and Family First Aid.

At Stoke Park Children’s Centre they have really enjoyed and valued working with families living in our reach area over the past ten years, and would like to thank you for the time you have spent getting to know them too, whether at groups, through Boing!, in person or during our First Aid project. Much appreciation has to go to those people who have, for several years, protected the important work of settings such as Stoke Park Children’s Centre. Their activities and initiatives have benefitted many residents, as well as others from further afield, and they have loved seeing (very many) lives directly transformed through the support they have provided. Proper kudos and huge thanks has to go to the individuals who have worked for and with Stoke Park Children’s Centre over the past 10 years.

David Jepson, the Chair of Governors of the Filton Avenue Nursery and Children's Centre says, “Let us record our appreciation of the fantastic work children's centres across the city have done over the years. The current situation is challenging but by no means the end and important that the network will remain in place whilst in many areas of the UK they have been cut all together. But true to say the process we are undergoing is complicated and painful and we should thank the staff who are taking the brunt of this. We do need as much support as possible to make sure there are no further cuts and that the new model is sustainable and open”.