A service currently provided at Alnwick Children’s Centre will close this April – making way for the expansion of other services at the centre.
The decision has been taken by Northumberland County Council following a wide-ranging review.
It concluded that its Cubs and Kits Preschool is no longer required in the light of an increase in the number of places at preschool provision for children at primary schools and other nurseries in the Alnwick area.
The review looked at what provision was available for preschool children and was informed by information from the Families Information Services.
It showed that there is enough provision in the area without Cubs and Kits, especially with the expansion of local primary schools with places for two-year-olds.
Children’s centres aim to provide a very wide range of services that support families and children under the age of five, and it is envisaged that this move will open up opportunities to expand the range of different ways that the locality team can do this within Alnwick Children’s Centre.
It will mean that parents have additional opportunities to attend courses with creche provision including Incredible Babies, Incredible Years, HENRY, Freedom and Recovery Toolkit. The team will also be sending personal invitations to parents with babies to come along to the Brilliant Babies group and Sensory Baby Play activities.
With the development of the outdoor play area, the children’s centre staff are also looking forward to providing Gruffalo Bear hunts and teddy bears picnics for families to take part in.
Graham Reiter, service director for children’s social care at Northumberland County Council, said: “We wanted to let parents know at the earliest opportunity that we will not be running the Cubs and Kits Preschool from April.
“We understand that the three day a week provision is valued by the families and children who come.
“However we have to make sure that we can provide all of the services needed of a children’s centre, and in the light of an expansion of other preschool services for children of this age we feel that this is the right decision.”
He added: “We will be working with parents and families to ensure that they can access all of the childcare they need.”
For more information about activities at the children’s centre, visit http://northchildrenscentres.org.uk
Cubs and Kits Preschool Alnwick will close on Friday, April 5.
For more information about availability of preschool places, phone 01670 624889 or visit www.northumberland.fsd.org.uk