We the undersigned recognise that Sheffield’s Community Nurseries and Children’s Centres provide universal, culturally sensitive, high quality education and care as well as preventative services for ALL families. They support parents on low incomes to gain access to employment. They support parents to access further education or gain basic skills. More importantly they give children from deprived backgrounds the important early year’s experience that gives them the right start in life.
In 2011-12 seven nurseries in Sheffield got an “Outstanding” grade from Ofsted, five of these will be placed at risk if these proposals go forward, making a mockery of the “Narrowing the Gap” and Raising attainment” agendas as they are all in areas of deprivation. We believe that the Council has not fully understood the impact of these cuts. We the undersigned confirm our opposition to the Early Years Redesign and our opposition to Sheffield City Council’s decision to withdraw funding from community nurseries and remove the early education and care from Children’s Centres which will have a devastating effect in the deprived communities at a time when they need it most.
We call on the council to take immediate action and call on them to:
– shelve these proposals;
– consult with communities about the models of support they require;
– look at alternative areas to reduce costs.