Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry Sure Start hour cuts being reviewed

Plans to end full-time nursery care at 10 sites in Coventry are now unlikely to go ahead.

Lynette Kelly, city council cabinet member for education, said it had now emerged parts of the city would be short of nursery places.

She said the move was not "a turnaround" but that the council had listened to affected parents.

Earlier this year, parents staged a protest over plans to end full-time care at 10 Sure Start centres.

A petition against the original plans, which would have seen reducing services at Sure Start centres to part-time for children over the age of two, was signed by 2,500 people across the city.

The council had said at the time of the proposals it would save the authority £1m a year.

'Uneven provision'

Ms Kelly said: "We're looking into ways of seeing if there is any way we can have morning and afternoon sessions at some of our nurseries, which would mean that parents could take the free offer that they're entitled to and then buy into extra sessions to make it up to full-time care.

"We were aware that there was uneven provision across the city, but we needed to know where people lived and where they wanted nursery provision to be."

She said no final decision had been made on which nurseries would be able to offer both morning and afternoon sessions.

Ms Kelly added that a consultation period with parents was still ongoing.

Parent Samantha Lyle, who has a child at the Sure Start centre in Tile Hill, said she welcomed the latest move.

She said: "Parents are not just saying that the provision is patchy, what we're saying is that narrowly targeting to only the most vulnerable families is a process of social exclusion... We would really urge them to consider the values that are underpinning Sure Start and to preserve them at all costs."

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