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Bright Start Islington

A Bright Start for Islington’s Children and Families

Islington Council, with Whittington Health, are working together to reorganise early childhood services. These changes will be completed by September 2017.

For activities and events this summer, and to download a children’s centre registration form, please go to Children’s Centres and Under 5s

What is Bright Start?

Islington has a fantastic range of services and activities for families with children aged up to 5. Our children’s centres are hugely valued by parents and carers and offer a range of services that support raising a happy family.

However, some families are not taking up the services that are available to them and what is on offer across the borough can vary. We know there is more we can do to help children to develop by the end of reception so that they are happy, healthy and ready for school.

Islington also needs to increase the number of childcare places available particularly for 2 year olds. Huge funding pressures mean that we have to reshape our services to become more efficient, while maintaining and improving quality and availability.

To meet these challenges, Islington Council, with Whittington Health are working together to reorganise early childhood services. Parents can expect the same high quality services available in their area, and early childhood services will continue to run from all of our 16 children’s centres.

Islington remains committed to providing childcare, early intervention and children’s centre services despite huge cuts in government funding which has seen many children’s centres close around the country.

Our plans

The reorganisation means that:

• professionals in different organisations will work better together to make sure what is offered meets the needs of families in their areas

• some family support activities, such as stay and play, will be run from alternative venues, such as libraries and community centres. This will make services more accessible to families who do not currently go to children’s centres, in some cases reducing walking distances

• in some children’s centres we will use the space that has been freed up to increase the number of early education and childcare places

• we will continue to make sure children’s centres are places for parents to meet each other and build informal support networks. Parents will continue to play an important role in designing and improving services

• services will be better advertised meaning families find it easier to find out what is available in their area. All early childhood services will be known as Bright Start Islington services.

When will changes happen?

The reorganisation will be complete in September 2017. Where we propose to change the use of existing children’s centres (for example, to increase childcare places), there will be public consultations on these changes before September 2017.

Look out for events and fun days during the summer where you can find out more about the changes.

If you have any questions or want more information, contact earlychildhoodtransformation@islington.gov.uk.

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