Council places children’s centres in safe hands

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Two local childcare providers have won contracts from Calderdale Council to run the Children’s Centre Service.

Halifax Opportunities Trust and North Halifax Partnership were awarded the contracts after the Council invited bids to run the service through a competitive tender process. The Council currently spends over £5 million per year on this service.

Calderdale’s Children’s Centre Service includes managing the 21 centres, which provide a range of services for young children and their families. This can include nursery provision and access to the Family Support Service for parents who want extra help, midwives, health visitors and even job advice.

Calderdale Council’s Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Stuart Smith, said:

“At a time when many areas are reducing their provision for children I am delighted and proud that the future of these children’s centres has been secured.

“We are continuing to offer parents and children the excellent childcare service which they have come to expect, within their local community. I am particularly pleased that two local providers have been selected to deliver both contracts.”

From 1 July, centres in the North East and Lower Valley will be run by the North Halifax Partnership, and the Halifax Opportunities Trust will run the Central and Upper Valley centres. Previously the Council was responsible for running some of the children’s centres within the borough.

The Council awarded the contracts after a two stage process with more than a dozen interested bidders. Each bid was scored by experts in health, Children’s Centres and Family Support against a range of criteria including the involvement of parents, partnership working and making a difference to the families and communities they serve. Quality of care was the most important factor accounting for 80% of the score given to each bid.

The initial contracts are for three years, but could be extended for up to five years, depending on performance and review.

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