Have your say about Hackney's children's centres
Residents are being urged to share their experiences of using Hackney’s children’s centres and thoughts about how they could be improved in the future.
The Council wants to hear from parents and carers who have used, currently use or may use children’s centres in the future, to find out about the services they value most and ideas for how to make them better.
There are 21 children’s centres across the borough, offering a wide range of services for expectant parents and families with young children, including early education and child care, ‘stay and play’ activities, parenting support, child and family health services, advice and training, ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) and employment support.
Many of the centres were developed under the national Sure Start Children’s Centre programme in 2007, when outcomes for young children in Hackney were well below the London and national averages, and unemployment was high. The most recent figures show a steady increase in the percentage of children achieving a good level of development at five years old, rising from 57% in 2013 to 77% in 2018.
Responses will also feed into an ongoing piece of work to help make efficiency savings. Despite the Council’s Government grant being cut by nearly half, to date the Council has protected children’s centres by finding savings elsewhere. However, with few options left, savings must be found from this budget too.
We really value our fantastic children’s centres - and we know residents do too. In the 12 years since our first children’s centres opened, they’ve achieved some great results, developing into hubs for everything a young family could need. They’ve made a real difference to children’s development, particularly those from less well off backgrounds.
Now they’re into their second decade of operation, we want to ask residents what they think of the services our children’s centres provide, and how we can make them even better. Over the next couple of months we will be speaking to parents and carers who have used, currently use or may use children’s centres in the future.
This feedback will help us to shape the future of Hackney’s children’s centres, to make sure they reflect local need and continue to support our children and families. It will also feed into an ongoing piece of work to make savings, so we want to make sure we understand what matters most to those who use our children’s centres.
We’re going to be visiting lots of events and fun days over the next couple of months, so look out for us, or have your say by completing the questionnaire online.