Consultation paper Childrens Centre funding vfinal by QjDFZhPh

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									Consultation paper on the proposed changes to the allocation of funding
                     for Barnet Children’s Centres

This paper outlines proposed changes to the distribution of funding for Children’s
Centres in Barnet. We are proposing to gradually bring in these changes between 1
September 2012 and 31 March 2014.

These changes are intended to:
     Remove the current subsidy of childcare provision in Children’s Centres;
     Retarget this money to the most disadvantaged areas and to services for the
        most vulnerable families;
     Financially reward Children’s Centres for reaching out to the most vulnerable
        families.

Your views and opinions are important to us and will help us to make the right
decisions. Responses to this consultation will be taken into account when Councillors
consider the matter at a Cabinet Resources Committee meeting scheduled for 17 July
2012. The consultation will run from 4 May 2012 and will close on 15 June 2012.

1. Background
Children’s Centres provide universal and targeted early intervention and prevention
services for children under five and their families. Examples of these community based
activities include:
     Play and Stay sessions;
     Bookstart sessions;
     Family support;
     Midwifery services;
     Breastfeeding support;
     Speech and language therapy;
     Workshops and individual support on maximising income;
     Parenting programmes.

During the financial year 2010/11, we consulted with parents and professionals on
changes to our Children’s Centres. As a result, we now have a network of 13 full
Children’s Centres and 8 linked outreach venues located across the borough. In order
to further encourage Children’s Centres to reach out to vulnerable families we are
proposing to give financial rewards for success. During the last year we trialled this
approach with Children’s Centres and have seen a 25% increase in new families
visiting Children’s Centres.

Childcare continues to be provided in seven of the Children’s Centres:
     Coppetts Wood Primary School and Children’s Centre;
     Fairway Primary School and Children’s Centre;
     Newstead Children’s Centre;
     Parkfield Primary School and Children’s Centre;
     The Hyde Primary School and Children’s Centre;
     Underhill Infant School and Children’s Centre;
     Wingfield Children’s Centre.

These Children’s Centres provide childcare between 8am and 6pm for five days a
week over 48 weeks of the year. We have continued to provide childcare in this way
although this is no longer a requirement from the Government.




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Currently we fund the 13 Children’s Centres and 8 linked outreach venues with a
budget of £4,300,000. This will remain the same for the financial year 2012/13.

2. Current funding of Children’s Centres
The current distribution of funding to Children’s Centres takes account of:
     Staff related costs which includes funding for Managers, Administration
       Workers, Family Support/Outreach Workers and Childcare Workers (where
       applicable);
     Costs for the day to day running of a Children’s Centre, for example utilities,
       insurance, equipment and general repair costs.

The income generated from providing childcare funds the salaries of childcare
workers. This income does not provide enough money to cover the cost of
management time, equipment, resources and premises costs of the childcare
provision. Currently these costs are funded from a budget of £4,300,000, which
effectively means that childcare provision in Children’s Centres is subsidised. This
means the amount of funding available for providing community based activities
across all Children’s Centres is reduced.

3. Proposed funding of Children’s Centres
We are proposing to redistribute the budget of £4,300,000 to more effectively meet the
needs of vulnerable families.

To achieve this, we are proposing to:
    Remove the subsidy for Children’s Centres which provide childcare;
    Ensure that funding is targeted towards more disadvantaged areas, as
       measured by the established national index of deprivation;
    Take account of the number of under fives in each Children’s Centre’s
       catchment area;
    Take account of the true cost of running Children’s Centres by considering the
       size of each centre;
    Continue funding the rent for the 8 linked outreach venues;
    Introduce payments for success in achieving set targets.

4. Potential impact of the proposed redistribution of funding
The total budget for Children’s Centres will remain the same at £4,300,000. During the
financial year 2011/12 a total of 12,066 families accessed a Children’s Centre activity
whilst 663 children had accessed a childcare place. Removing the childcare subsidy
would enable us to identify and reach more vulnerable families early, through
community based activities.

The proposed redistribution of funding will change how this budget is allocated across
all 13 Children’s Centres, and will mean over time that some will see an increase in
their funding whilst some will see a decrease in their funding. Please see appendix A
for the funding details.

This funding proposal is intended to retarget money to the most disadvantaged areas
and services for the most vulnerable families. These continue to be our priority, as
early intervention through engagement with Children’s Centre services can make a
real difference to vulnerable children’s life chances and reduce costs in future years.

From 1 April until 31 August 2012, the funding of Children’s Centres will remain the
same as the financial year 2011/12, as detailed in Appendix A. We are proposing to




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introduce the first phase of the new funding arrangements from 1 September 2012.
The changes to the funding will be phased in over two financial years until the financial
year 2014/15 enabling the Children’s Centres to plan in advance.

Children’s Centres with childcare will see a reduction in their funding allocation, as a
result of the redistribution of the childcare subsidy. This means that these Children’s
Centres will need to plan to cover the real cost of the childcare they provide.

Children’s Centres with childcare may decide to:
     Continue with existing childcare provision;
     Reduce opening hours and/or change the age bands of children accessing
       childcare;
     Increase their childcare fees;
     Commission a new childcare provider to deliver the childcare;
     Close childcare.

These Children’s Centres will continue to review their childcare provision and may
make changes this year or in future years.

5. Potential impact on families from the proposed changes
Families accessing childcare may be affected by the proposed changes to funding if
childcare fees increase or if childcare provision closes.

There is a potential risk that Children’s Centres may need to increase their childcare
fees to ensure that childcare income covers the costs of providing childcare.

However, there are a number of local and central government schemes which will
continue to support families in accessing childcare:
    Working Tax Credits which subsidise childcare costs for low income families;
    Targeted two year old scheme which currently offers 10 hours of free childcare
       for vulnerable children;
    Three and four year old free entitlement scheme which currently offers 15
       hours of free childcare for all children;
    Extra hours of free childcare for vulnerable children.

If a Children’s Centre chooses to close their childcare, parents may choose to send
their children to alternative providers and we would support the families to find
alternative childcare.

We have a legal duty to ensure there is sufficient childcare provision across the
borough. We have reviewed this in March 2011 and there is sufficient provision as
detailed in this report:
www.barnet.gov.uk/downloads/download/374/childcare_sufficiency_assessment.

Please see Appendix B which shows the number of children currently accessing
childcare at the Children’s Centres and the potential impact if childcare fees were to
increase or if childcare was to close.

6. Support for Children’s Centres with childcare
Children’s Centres with childcare will continue to receive some subsidy until the
financial year 2014/15 to cushion the proposed changes. We are currently working
with them and providing tailored business support. This will better enable them to
develop business plans which help ensure that they can continue to provide childcare
without subsidy.




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Appendix A – Proposed funding of Children’s Centres

Children's Centre          2011/2012                 Current                    Proposed funding
                                                     2012/13 funding                                                                 Draft 2013/14          Draft 2014/15
                                                     5 months (1 Apr            7 months (1 Sep           12 months (1 April
                                                     2012 to 31 Aug             2012 to 31 Mar            2012 – 31 March
                                                     2012)                      2013)                     2013)
                                                     (a)                        (b)                       (a and b)
Barnfield                  £306,093                  £127,539                   £191,083                  £318,622                   £340,101               £349,050
Bell Lane                  £276,585                  £115,244                   £159,013                  £274,257                   £270,266               £268,603
Childs Hill                £201,053                  £83,772                    £139,220                  £222,992                   £260,601               £276,271
Coppetts Wood              £374,318                  £155,966                   £206,639                  £362,605                   £342,524               £334,158
Fairway                    £376,473                  £156,864                   £197,312                  £354,176                   £315,953               £300,027
Hampden Way1               £201,053                  £83,772                    £131,468                  £215,240                   £236,321               £244,141
Newstead                   £441,054                  £183,773                   £211,412                  £395,184                   £316,550               £283,786
Parkfield                  £440,569                  £183,570                   £214,041                  £397,611                   £323,968               £293,284
St Margaret's              £201,053                  £83,772                    £125,564                  £209,336                   £226,629               £234,754
Stonegrove                 £157,171                  £65,488                    £141,740                  £207,228                   £293,040               £328,795
The Hyde                   £394,583                  £164,410                   £203,016                  £367,426                   £320,872               £301,474
Underhill                  £395,576                  £164,823                   £207,203                  £372,026                   £331,655               £314,834
Wingfield                  £419,356                  £174,732                   £221,792                  £396,524                   £357,384               £341,076
Subtotal                   £4,184,937                £1,743,724                 £2,349,503                £4,093,227                 £3,935,864             £3,870,253
Business rates/Other                                                                                      £206,773
Payment by Results2                                                                                                                  £364,136               £429,747
Total Allocations                                                                                         £4,300,000                 £4,300,000             £4,300,000

1
  The allocations for Hampden Way Children’s Centre and St Margaret’s Children’s Centre have been adjusted to take into account the Sweets Way linked venue will only be
used by Hampden Way Children’s Centre from 1 September 2012.
2
  For future financial years Children’s Centres will be financially incentivised for meeting targets through the payment by results mechanism. The final allocations for payments
by results are to be finalised. Please note that from 1 April 2013 a proportion of the money allocated for payment by results will be used to pay Children’s Centre business
rates. However the final cost of business rates have not been confirmed.




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Appendix B – Impact to children and families accessing childcare at Barnet
Children’s Centres if childcare either closes or if childcare fees increase

Type of childcare              Number of       Potential impact to         Number of children
provision                      children        families as a result        accessing childcare from
                               accessing       of the proposed             each Children’s Centre
                                         3
                               childcare       funding of
                                               Children’s Centres
               2 year olds     61                Alternative       Coppetts Wood              0
                                                                    Fairway
                                                  childcare provision                          21
                                                 Increased travel  Newstead                   7
                                                  costs             Parkfield                  4
                                                 Alternative       The Hyde                   6
                                                  provision in a    Underhill                  7
                                                  different localityWingfield                  16
              3 and 4        190               Alternative         Coppetts Wood              0
              year olds                         childcare provision Fairway                    31
Free                                           Increased travel    Newstead                   17
childcare                                       costs               Parkfield                  33
provision
          4                                    Alternative         The Hyde                   22
                                                provision in a
                                                                    Underhill                  34
                                                different locality
                                                                    Wingfield                  53
              Supported      33                Alternative         Coppetts Wood              0
              by the local                      childcare provision Fairway                    4
              authority                        Increased travel    Newstead                   9
              (vulnerable                       costs               Parkfield                  2
              funding)
                                                                    The Hyde                   1
                                                                    Underhill                  10
                                                                    Wingfield                  7
Total number of fee          426               Alternative         Coppetts Wood              7
                5
paying families                                 childcare provision Fairway                    88
                                               Increased travel    Newstead                   47
                                                costs               Parkfield                  73
                                               Increased           The Hyde                   56
                                                childcare fees
                                                                    Underhill                  69
                                                                    Wingfield                  86
 Note: The information in the table is correct as at 22 February 2012.




3
  Barnet’s Children's Centres provide 237 full time childcare places.
4
  Total number of children on roll, this would include families accessing the 2, 3 and 4 year old funded
places and children accessing vulnerable funding.
5
  Total number of children on roll, some parents are paying for additional childcare hours over and above
their free childcare provision. This would include families accessing the 2, 3 and 4 year old funded places
and children accessing vulnerable funding.




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Consultation on proposed changes to the allocation of funding for Barnet
Children’s Centres response form

Please use this form to respond to the consultation.

Your views and opinions are important to us and will help us to make the right
decisions. The consultation closes on 15 June 2012. Councillors will consider the
responses to this consultation at a Cabinet meeting scheduled for 17July 2012.

Responses can be made:
by email:           childrenscentres@barnet.gov.uk
by post:            Robert McCulloch-Graham
                    Director of Children’s Service
                    The London Borough of Barnet
                    Building 4, North London Business Park
                    Oakleigh Road South
                    London
                    N11 1NP

When responding please include your name and the capacity in which you are writing
for example, parent, school, commissioned provider and so on.

Name                                    Capacity in which writing (for example,
                                        parent, name of school, of voluntary
                                        organisation etc.)




1. Do you agree that the proposed method for funding Children’s Centres is a fairer
way of targeting resources to meet the needs of vulnerable families and the local
community? (Please tick one box)

                                 Neither
  Strongly        Tend to                       Tend to        Strongly
                                agree nor                                 Don’t know
   Agree           agree                        disagree       disagree
                                disagree


Please give reasons for your answer in the box below.




                                                           (Please continue overleaf)



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2. The Council will consider all responses to this consultation. Please use the box
below for any further comments that you wish to make. This could include different
ways for the Council to redistribute funding or if you feel that the proposals could
have a positive or negative equalities impact (for example on those with disabilities,
of a certain race, or of a certain sex).




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