York Gardens Children’s Centre is under threat from Wandsworth Council cuts. The cuts include stopping activities such as universal free stay and play at the York Gardens Children’s Centre site.
These would be terribly damaging cuts. The York Gardens Children’s Centre is a real hub for our local community; it supports all local families and reduces inequalities in child development.
There is strong evidence that the care given during the first 1,000 days has more influence on a child’s future than any other time in their life. Wandsworth Labour supports local children’s centres and we recognise the importance of universal stay and play.
We want to tell the Council why the centre is so important and ask them to rethink their plans. Please join hundreds of others by taking one minute to email the Leader of Wandsworth Council, Cllr Ravi Govindia, letting him know why the centre is so important. The more people who write to the Leader the greater chance we have of saving our Children’s Centre.
Please take one minute to write about your own experience of Children’s Centres. Alternatively, an example email is below – please feel free to copy and paste.
Please could you copy your email to councillor Kate Stock (email@example.com), who is a local Labour councillor for Latchmere Ward.
Thank you for your support,
Tony Belton, Simon Hogg and Kate Stock
Labour councillors for Latchmere ward
To: Cllr Ravi Govindia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Copied to: Cllr Kate Stock, email@example.com
Dear Cllr Govindia
York Garden Children’s Centre serves an area within the 1% of most deprived areas in the country according to the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index. Wandsworth Council have a statutory duty to improve the well-being of young children in our area and reduce inequalities between them. Inequality in Battersea is increasingly visible.
All local children deserve the best start in life. Closing the current York Gardens Children’s Centre site will make it more difficult for families to access specialist services that improve child development. Getting out of the house with a baby or young child is not easy and neither is travelling on public transport and is often much harder for those on lower incomes. Wandsworth Council must keep this facility open so that ALL local families can access the services they need within pram-pushing distance of their home.
Stay and play was identified as the most popular activity in the large-scale Children’s Centre Survey conducted by the Council just over 3 years ago. Children’s centres are hubs for the local community, build social cohesion and should be a non-stigmatising, safe and accessible place to go. Cutting the most popular universal stay and play sessions will have a negative impact on social mobility and children’s social development. These aims are best achieved by welcoming children from all communities and not restricting access to only those families who have been referred from another agency.
In your manifesto you wrote that you wanted Wandsworth to be a “place where people of all backgrounds get on” – please keep that promise and keep universal stay and play sessions at the York Gardens Children’s Centre site.