Yet more communities get start-up funding for children’s services

Community schemes to run open-access children’s services in Cholsey, Charlbury and Sutton Courtenay are the latest to receive start-up funding from Oxfordshire County Council.

The council is continuing to award grants for local groups to deliver universal services for 0-5 year-olds, such as ‘stay-and-play’, with a total of 32 now having benefitted from its Transition Fund.

Schemes proposed at the Happy Hub, Cholsey (£3,381); Sutton Courtenay Stay and Play Group (£939); and the Thomas Gifford Trust, Charlbury (£10,769) are the latest to be awarded funding, following the council’s Cabinet meeting last week (Tuesday 23 Jan).

More than £180,000 still remains to be awarded from the initial £1m funding pot, and to broaden the scope of the scheme, applications can also now be made by groups based at locations other than former children’s centres.

Sustainable solutions

Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities Mark Gray said: “We now have community-run children’s services being put in place at locations right across the county, and these innovative and sustainable schemes continue to come forward.

“This clearly shows the huge strength of our local communities and their desire to ensure highly valued open access 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.”