4Children awarded children's centres contract

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National children and families charity 4Children will take over the running of five children’s centres in Swindon in May.

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4Children now runs more than 100 children's centres, including Carousel Children's Centre in Braintree, Essex

4Children, which runs more than 100 children’s centres across the UK, will operate the Moredon, Drove, Gorse Hill, Penhill and Pinehurst settings from 1 May following a consultation process carried out last year.

An open tender procurement process to run the centres saw the charity awarded with the contract at the end of March.

The centres will provide local families with children under the age of five with a range of practical support, information and advice. Priorities will include health and wellbeing services for all children from pre-birth to five years old. 

The takeover comes after Swindon Borough Council closed four of the town’s 14 centres last year in a bid to save £380,000.

Councillor Fionuala Foley, Swindon Borough Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said, ‘Our partnership with 4Children marks the first phase of the reorganisation of our children’s centres which will deliver the best possible services for children and their families as the council focuses more money on the most vulnerable children.

‘The reorganisation will see centres grouped into clusters so they work more closely together to achieve efficiency savings and will also allow them to target resources in areas where there is the most need.’

The council said families would see no change to the services provided as a result of the takeover.

Charles Ellis, deputy chief executive of 4Children said, ‘We are delighted to have been awarded the contract and look forward to forging a partnership with the local authority, other agencies and of course the local community to improve the life opportunities of local families.’