Last week, I visited the Children’s Centre at Egerton Park. It is facing closure due to East Sussex needing to put more of its budget in adult social care. This could also cause the loss of the nursery which sits below the children’s centre. It will be a huge blow to lose these services.
I visited the Children’s Centre and Cygnets nursery in Egerton Park to hear first-hand what the closure of a number of children’s centres will mean for local families across the constituency. Other centres impacted by the closure proposals will be Battle, Ticehurst and Heathfield.
The proposals will also impact the council-run nurseries in Egerton Park and Sidley where the council would look to the private sector to take these on.
I know how much financial pressure the County Council is under and this is why it has been necessary for them to consider alternative ways of delivering support to under 5s. However, I am also acutely aware of how important these centres and nurseries are to local families. I strongly believe that all families with pre-school children income and background need access to support and services to help them to give their children the best start in life and prepare them for school.
I would encourage my constituents to write to East Sussex County Council to share their views on this consultation. For my part, I will continue to lobby the government for better nursery and early years funding to ensure that services for all families under 5s are protected for future generations.
To take part in the consultation visit https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/childrens-services/public-early-help-survey/ or simply write with your views to firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01273 336626.