Council to consider proposal which could mean more nursery places in Worksop
An opportunity has arisen to provide an early years nursery unit at Haggonfields Primary School, in Rhodesia, North Worksop.
Haggonfields Primary School is looking to expand its provision for young children, for which there is growing local demand. If the proposal is agreed, the school’s Trust would take on the management of the property.
The effect of this would be that more children could receive nursery education from the age of three, in a purpose-built nursery building.
The children’s centre service will continue, but will be delivered into families’ homes, rather than relying on parents going into the building. Parents will continue to be supported by children’s centre staff.
The building on the same site as the school has been used as a children’s centre, but there have been very few children attending and the building has largely remained unused – providing just one two-hour session per week because of low demand.
Everyone who completed the consultation, all local parents, supported the proposal.
Councillor Philip Owen, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee, said:
“This proposal will consider whether we should continue to let a building remain largely empty and unused, or allow a local school to provide a much-needed service for local families and for the good of young children in the area.
“This would not reduce the service on offer, and it would mean the building could soon be full of children playing and learning, not sitting empty and silent.”
“Although I understand some people may have concerns about any change to the use of properties which have the words ‘children’s centre services’ attached to them, I believe this proposal is the sensible thing to do.
“This absolutely isn’t a budget-driven decision. It’s a question of ensuring we give children the best start in life. By finding a better use for an under-used building we can save funds, help to protect vital services, and see a community benefit from what it actually needs.”
Increasingly, as a response to Covid-19, many elements of the children’s centre service are delivered virtually, with positive feedback from parents.
Face- to-face services will continue to be available at the other local children’s centre service buildings in the area, with no planned reduction in service.
If approved at the Children and Young People’s Committee meeting on 22 February, the proposal would be referred to the council’s Policy Committee for further consideration and final approval.