Plan to Close Chiswick Children’s Centre
Council consulting on cuts to under-fives provision in the borough
Proposals from Hounslow Council to rationalise their services for the under-fives would see the closure of Chiswick Children’s Centre.
In an effort to generate budget savings of £1.8 million four centres in the borough will be closed completely including the local centre in Devonshire Street, Chiswick next to William Hogarth School.
The model the Council say they are consulting on groups together children’s centres to provide services in each locality based on levels of deprivation. For the current eighteen children’s centre sites it is proposed that fourteen out of the eighteen current children’s centres will continue to deliver services to the under-fives. Seven centres including the one in Dukes Meadows will be used in a different way so that they will provide both the children’s centre offer as well as additional childcare places.
The Chiswick Children’s Centre offers wide range of activities for families with children under the age of 5. They support families from birth with our midwifery service, breastfeeding support drop-in, weaning advice and parties as well as toilet training, and onto school transitions programmes and beyond. The facilities include a playroom and a garden where play with our bikes, scooters, slides and tunnels as well as sand and water play are encouraged. In school holidays they hold special sessions such as messy play, cooking and gardening.
The Council say that reasons that centres were selected for closure include the centres not being in an areas of high need, the area not needing more free childcare places or the buildings not being suitable. Throughout the consultation process they say they will be seeking views on alternate uses of these sites.
The new model for child service proposes to make use of libraries, leisure centres, community centres and faith buildings to deliver services to parents of under-fives in their local areas.
Councillor Tom Bruce, Hounslow Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services said: “We’re holding the 90 day consultation so that we can use the views of parents and carers to shape the future of services and activities for under-fives in our borough.
“We believe that our proposals for under fives which would see children’s centres service run from leisure centres and community groups are more cost effective and more convenient for residents.”
As part of the consultation on the changes there is a survey about local child care services. The consultation ends on 17 October.
A cabinet report setting out the details of these proposals was published on the 8 July 2015. You can view it at www.hounslow.gov.uk/underfives.
August 13, 2015