Parents given a voice on children’s future

Pen Green, one of the centres involved in the consultation
Pen Green, one of the centres involved in the consultation

A huge consultation is being held in Corby to gather the views of 1,000 parents and carers on services which will affect the future of children in the town.

Have a Voice Make a Choice has been launched by Corby Children’s Centre Consortium ahead of a plan by the county council to recommission new services early in the next financial year.

The county council has also carried out a consultation exercise and the results are to be discussed by the cabinet on Tuesday.

The Corby consortium made up of Pen Green, Exeter, Kingswood and Woodnewton children’s centres, wants parents and carers’ views on the services available and what changes they would like to see.

Pen Green Children’s Centre deputy head Donna Gallagher said: “The county council is looking at where the children’s centres fit and who will be best placed to run these centres.

“We feel that parents and carers’ views about local services should be at the heart of any proposal that is put forward to the county council.

“We want to know what parents think is important, what works well and any suggestions they may have.

“There are 2,500 families in Corby with children under five and we believe that by talking to 1,000 parents and carers we will have a comprehensive and clear picture about what people need and want.”

A working group made up of staff from the town’s four children’s centres is organising the consultation.

Parents and carers are being asked to fill in a questionnaire and the results will be analysed by Pen Green Research Centre.

The questionnaires are available at all the centres, primary schools and nurseries in the town.

The consortium will have a pop-up shop in the town centre on Thursday and Friday and there is also a Have a Voice Make a Choice Facebook page.

The consultation process has been extended until October 10.

The consortium will publish the results of the consultation on the children’s centres’ websites.

A county council spokesman said: “Our children’s centres represent a cornerstone of our early help and targeted prevention work.

“We are drawing to the end of an extensive consultation process as part of our plans to recommission new services from the early part of the 2014-15 financial year.

“Through recommissioning, we will be better able to deliver services that identify and address needs so that families receive the right support at the right time.”