Change's to Under 5's Services

Many of you will be aware and will hopefully have been consulted over recent months regarding some proposed changes to our Under 5’s Drop In service. The review of this service followed Camden’s own review of its Early Years model, following which Camden confirmed that we would be losing our funding for both our Children’s Centre and our Nursery, a combined loss of £150,000 from 1st April 2016.

Over the last few months, much work has been carried out to understand how we mitigate against this loss whilst also continuing our commitment to provide what has become an invaluable service for local families.

Overleaf, you will find an overview of the service that we will be taking forward. The proposal has been developed following consultations with users, staff and partner organisations and whilst compromises in some areas have been essential, we have tried to limit these whilst also using the opportunity to better understand where we should be focussing our efforts.

Given the significance of the funding losses, sustaining this level of service will be subject to a number of factors and we continue to be reliant on the support of those that use Coram’s Fields to ensure that our services remain accessible to all who need them.

 As always, we welcome any support that people may be able to offer.

Community Nursery

There will be no changes to our current set up in our Nursery. In September last year, we restructured the fees in our Nursery in order to bring them in line with other providers, whilst developing a means based fee structure to ensure that our Nursery remains accessible, irrespective of income.

 Under 5’s Drop In (Formerly Children’s Centre)

 From September 2015, Coram’s Fields Drop In ceased to be part of the Children’s Centre network. Following consultation regarding the future of the service, the following plan has been put in place;

 Key Decisions

  1. Drop in services will continue to run from the existing under 5’s drop in space
  2.   The service will become a morning only provision from the 11th April 2016 - open from 9.30am-12.30pm and will offer a mix of open access and structured activity sessions, including a new, small soft play area for under 2’s, a reading corner and dedicated creative space
  3. The Diddi-Dance programme held its final session on the 25th February 2016
  4. Little Kickers sessions will continue to take place on a Monday morning, however we intend to extend this provision to a Saturday morning in the future if it is felt viable
  5. The drop in space will undergo a small refurbishment (funded by a Camden Transition Grant). The work will include cosmetic improvements to the space as well as some reconfiguration of the internal and outdoor space.
  6. The above work will be carried out during a four week period from 14th March-10th April, the centre will re-open on Monday 18th April

 Charging Policy

 In order to ensure that our services are sustainable, we are having to introduce a charging policy for the majority of our services. Similar to the nursery, the aim is to develop a fee structure that is affordable and one that acknowledges what this means for different people.

 An outline of these fees can be found below, whilst these fees are set at this stage, we are intent on reviewing this on a regular basis and would welcome feedback on the quality of the service on offer and the value for money that people feel this represents;

Service/Activity

Cost

Subsidies

Standard Entry Fee

£2

£1 for every sibling thereafter

Activity fee (covering a range of activity sessions delivered by an Early Years professional)

£3

£2* for every sibling thereafter

Little Kickers Sessions

£3

£2* for every sibling thereafter

 Additional notes;

 

1.    Activities will cost a maximum of £3 per child – entry fee is not chargeable on top of this

2.    Free places will be available for those on low incomes (subject to criteria being met)

 If you have any questions about any of the above, please feel free to contact Carole Perry (Head of Early Years) – details overleaf.

 We hope to see you all when our new look space opens on 11th April.