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Kids' centre plans axed

PUBLISHED: 16:30 09 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:18 23 August 2010

PLANS for a children s centre have been scrapped, despite a budget surplus of £3.8 million. Kent County Council has voted to set up five less children s centres across the county, including one planned for Rayneshurst Primary School, Gravesend, in respon

PLANS for a children's centre have been scrapped, despite a budget surplus of £3.8 million.

Kent County Council has voted to set up five less children's centres across the county, including one planned for Rayneshurst Primary School, Gravesend, in response to a review carried out in September.

The centre offers a number of services including information and advice for parents and carers on a range of subjects for young children; support for childminders through a quality assured co-ordinated network; activities for parents and carers and children at the centre and links to Job Centre Plus on advice on training and employment opportunities for parents

Sarah Hohler Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education said: "Kent County Council is committed to providing children's centre services for all 83,000 nought to four-year-olds and their families by 2012.

"The recent review of children's centres was very comprehensive. We had constructive discussions with a range of partners, including local members, to make sure the new centres will be well placed to serve their communities."

A centre due to be built at Painters Ash Primary School, in Northfleet, added to the six others already running in the borough

She added: "The review made sure that resources, both capital and revenue, are appropriately levelled at the children and families who need them most.

"The £3.8m balance will be reinvested in children's services across the county.

Children's centres must be seen to be offering high quality and effective services, but it is equally important that the centres and the services they offer are sustainable over the coming years.

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