Brighton and Hove children’s centres may start charging for some activities

Posted On 07 Jul 2014 at 6:26 pm
By Tim Ridgway
Latest TV

Parents may have to pay for some activities at children’s centre across Brighton and Hove.

Brighton and Hove City Council said that it was considering charging for some groups and was consulting about the possibility because it faced deepening reductions to its budget.

Without charging, the council said that some of the services would have to stop.

The proposal is to charge a set rate of £3 a child for a 90-minute session for a range of groups.

These include stay and play, dads’ stay and play, toddler and you, jump for joy and children’s centre drop-in groups run in libraries.

However, healthy child clinics, baby groups and a range of targeted and invitation groups, courses and crèches will remain free of charge for the foreseeable future.

A council spokesman said that widening out the charges for services may be considered in the future.

The consultation on charging is part of the council’s budget strategy for this year and was formally agreed by the council’s Children and Young People Committee last month.

The online consultation has started and will end on Friday 12 September. Any decision to start charging will be made by the Children and Young People Committee in October.

The payments would be made using the school-wide parent payment system Parent Pay.

Parents on low incomes or who have disabilities, looked after and adopted children or those subject to a care plan would not be charged.

The proposal, subject to the consultation, is to introduce the charges in January.

To take part in the consultation, visit www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/children-centre-survey.

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