A Co-operative future for Rotherham's Children's Centres

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As we near the end of the consultation process for the proposed closure of a number of children's centres, Rotherham MP Sarah Champion continues her fight to save these core services. The local MP has been working with Labour Friends of Sure Start on a proposal which looks at a model that would keep all of the centres under a co-operative umbrella. This approach allows savings to be made in a consistent way across the board, whilst allowing the maximum number of children's centres to remain open.

The proposal Sarah has submitted would see the current centres becoming community run co-operatives, allowing them to access other funding streams not currently available under the local authority structure.

Sarah Champion MP said: I don't want any Sure Starts to close. Sure Start Children's Centres transform lives, and research clearly proves that the multi-agency interventions they offer give young children the best start in life.

I have sent in my response to the council in the hope that they will take this proposal on board and look at how it could work for our children's centres in Rotherham. I urge everyone who cares about Sure Start to send in proposals too.

There is still a long way to go to rescue all the centres, but I'm hopeful that it's not the end of the road. We need to look how we can save these services which are highly valued and cherished by the local parents that use them, as they provide a wonderful service and support to families with young children.

NewsVanessa Johns