More groups to receive funding for open access children’s services

Two more community schemes to run open-access children’s services are to receive start-up funding from Oxfordshire County Council.

The council is continuing to award grants for groups to deliver universal services for 0-5 year-olds, such as ‘stay-and-play’, with a total of 29 now having benefitted from its Transition Fund.

Schemes proposed at Slade Nursery School (£42,478) and Leys Community Church (£2,750) – both in Oxford - are the latest to be awarded funding, following the council’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 28 November. Two other applications were deferred to the next round of funding for further work to be carried out on the proposals.

Around £200,000 remains to be awarded from the initial £1m funding pot, and applications can also now be made by groups based at locations other than previous children’s centres to broaden the scope of the scheme.

Sustainable solutions

Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities Mark Gray said: “We are still seeing innovative and sustainable community solutions coming forward, and I am keen to see every penny of our Transition Fund go towards open access provision for 0-5 year-olds.

“With almost 30 groups across the county now taking on these services, this has clearly been a demonstration of the strength of our local communities and their desire to ensure highly valued services can continue. In many cases what parents are seeing when they come into these centres is little different from when they were fully funded by the council, and that’s also testament to the commitment and hard work of local people.”