Issue details

Shaping the future of Children's Centres in Kent

At the heart of Bold Steps for Kent is the need to change the way we work, not only to improve our own services, but also to reflect the changing shape of wider public services. Increasingly, those directly responsible for delivering front line services will be empowered to design and commission services that better fit the needs of parents, children and communities. Therefore, we must adopt an approach that is both inclusive and sees prevention and intervention as a continuum so that it is never deemed too late to positively intervene and prevent the deterioration in an individual child or young person’s circumstances.


The Children’s Centres review supports 4 of the BS4K priorities

·         Improve how we procure and commission services

·         Support the transformation of health and social care in Kent

·         Ensure all pupils meet their full potential

·         Improve services for the most vulnerable people in Kent


Action on Health Visiting Programme (designed to define and implement an improved health visiting service and an expanded health visiting workforce to deliver improved health and social outcomes for children), sets out its intention to deliver improved outcomes through delivery of a public health and Healthy Child Programme aligned service for children aged 0-5 years and their families.


Kent’s Early Intervention and Prevention Strategy (August 2012)  sets out the following priority relating to Children’s Centres in Kent:


To strengthen the working relationship between children’s centres, early years settings and schools in order to improve the quality of early year’s education improve readiness to learn and ensure young children and their families in need of early support can access this at the earliest point

Financial Implications: Delivery of MTP efficiency savings of at least £ 1.5 million in 2014/15

Legal Implications: All actions comply with Childcare act 2006 , Sure Start Statutory Guidance  , Health and Social Care Act 2012 and  DfE capital ‘clawback’ -Local authorities must notify and consult with the Department of Education, about any plan to transfer, dispose of, or change the use of buildings or any other tangible fixed assets which has a current market value of more than £2,500.

Equality Implications: EIAs completed in respect of all affected Centres and on implications of decision on staff

Is the matter referred to in your Business Plan or Medium Term Capital Programme?

Yes - Strategic Commissioning 2013/14


Decision type: Key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 24/10/2013

Contact: Karen Mills, Commissioning Manager 01622 694531 Email: Email: Tel: 01622 694531.


December - Social Care and Public Health and Committee

launch of consultation  -  12th June 2013

During consultation period – 4th October 2013

End of consultation period – 5th October 2013


Other consultation planned or undertaken:
The Childcare Act 2006 requires Local Authorities to consult with stakeholders before opening, closing or significantly changing children’s centres and to secure sufficient provision to meet local need so far as is reasonably practicable.

Statutory 12 (13) week consultation as per Statutory Guidance


Which Members and electoral Divisions are affected by this proposed decision?

Ashford - Andrew Wickham , Mike Angell

Canterbury - Michael Northey , John Simmonds , Nicholas Bond , Brian MacDowall ,  Alan Marsh , Mark Dance ,Mike Harrison

Swale - Tom Gates ,Lee Burgess , Roger Truelove, Adrian Crowther 

Dartford - Ann Allen ,Tom Maddison

Gravesham - Sue Howes ,  Narinderjit Thandi , Bryan Sweetland

Shepway - David Baker , Frank McKenna  , Susan Carey , Matthew Whybrow

Dover- Mike Eddy,Eileen Rowbotham ,  Pam Brivio , Gordon Cowan

Maidstone - Eric Hotson , Paulina Stockell

Sevenoaks - Richard Parry , David Brazier

Tonbridge and Malling - Matthew Balfour , Trudy Dean

Tunbridge Wells - Chris Hoare , John Davies

Thanet -    Roger Latchford , Alan Terry ,  Zita Wiltshire , Jeff Elenor


Financial implications: Lead officer: Karen Mills , FSC, Strategic Commissioning ( Children's ) 01622 694531 Lead Director: Andrew Ireland Andrew.

Legal implications: 13/00067

Equalities implications: Meets financial and significance criteria


Agenda items