Rotherham Council to close more than half of its children’s centres

Mandy Rawcliffe, of Rawmarsh, and daughter Candice, aged three, at Rawmarsh Children's Centre.
Mandy Rawcliffe, of Rawmarsh, and daughter Candice, aged three, at Rawmarsh Children's Centre.

Children’s centres in the Dearne could be affected if Rotherham Council plans to close more than half of its childrens’ centres in the latest round of budget cutbacks are approved.

The authority is planning to shut 13 out of its 22 centres in a bid to save £2.2 million in 2014-16.

The proposal was made in a report recommended to be endorsed by council’s cabinet tomorrow.

The authority would not comment on specific closures until after the meeting. There are childrens’ centres in Brampton, Swinton, Rawmarsh and Wath, which are some of the most deprived areas in the borough.

The report states that substantial consideration has been given to achieving the revenue reduction.

Proposals include closure of 13 registered Children’s Centre buildings with a reduction to nine children’s centres across the borough.

The buildings would then be clustered to form seven registered centres across the borough resulting in an increased size of reach areas.

There would be the creation of a foundation years service across health, social care and education

There would also be a shift to provider-funded training for all settings to access any training, including those requiring improvement/inadequate. This could affect

sufficiency going forward as only Good settings can offer two year old places.

Cabinet members will also be asked to endorse the proposal for a statutory public consultation in relation to changes to children’s centre delivery and on all services to

be changed in the maximum required 45 day period. The reconfigured service and the required revenue reductions would be implemented from April


A consultation strategy will be developed, including detailed consultation with staff, schools, practitioners, wider stakeholders and the public.