Nottinghamshire County Council: Plans for a Bassetlaw children’s centre to become ‘much needed’ family hub

There are big changes planned for a Bassetlaw children’s centre set to become a ‘family hub’.

By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 6:00 am

Retford Central Children’s Centre, Spa Lane, could become a space for families with children aged 0-19 and young people up to the age of 25 if they have Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

If approved, it would be Nottinghamshire’s first integrated Family Hub.

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Retford Central Children’s Centre, Spa Lane, could become a family hub.

Two options were presented by Nottinghamshire County Council – one for the family hub and a second for the centre to become a maternity hub.

A consultation found that most people (70%) preferred option one and suggested that the space could be used for child development, play and early learning, parenting groups, managing children’s behaviour and access to specialist services.

Parents described it as a “great idea” which was “much needed” in the area.

The plans will be brought to the Children and Young People’s Committee on December 13 where councillors will vote on them.

It is currently used by the maternity service for clinics and for children’s centre family support sessions.

But council documents show that since 2018, the children’s centre service has been “more targeted” whereby workers visit families in their own homes.

Tall Trees Preschool, which once used the building, closed in 2019 due to falling numbers – meaning the centre had become “less cost effective” to run.

Council documents stated: “When the first national lockdown was in place, the Maternity Service at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospital Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were permitted to use the property daily under a temporary room hire agreement; this enabled them to continue to provide antenatal and postnatal care away from hospital sites.

“The Maternity Service continues to use the property and approached the Council asking to lease the property on a longer-term basis to create a Maternity Hub.

“This provided a good opportunity to also explore the change of use of the Retford Central site to a Family Hub because of its location, excellent resident access and the Young People’s Centre next door.

“It is intended that maternity services will continue to be provided from the building under either option.”

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