For a full background, please see our previous post on this issue.
Thank you to everyone who signed the petition to keep the stay and play open to the widest possible number of children. We collected 115 signatures and handed this in to the most recent full council meeting on 5 December.
We have just been told that as a result of that petition, council officers are going to write a report which will be considered at the Education and Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on 7 February 2019. The report should be available on the council’s website from 30 January 2019.
We hope the Conservatives will use the opportunity at the Children’s Services meeting to reconsider the plans for the stay and play. It comes down to four key criteria:
- Are the sessions led by professional staff?
- What age range of children can attend?
- What is the cost to attend per session?
- How many weeks of the year are the sessions available?
In respect of those four criteria, this table shows the current situation, the Tories’ first plan (contained in this paper), and the Tory’s second plan after our campaign:
|Criteria||Current situation||Tory plan 1 (TP1)||Tory plan 2 (TP2)|
|Age range||0-5 years||2-5 years||0-2 years|
|Cost||Free||Did not disclose||£2.50 per child per session|
|Weeks open||52 (as far as we understand)||Did not disclose||Term time only|
As you can see, TP1 is worse than the current situation, which is why we started our campaign. TP2 is no better! Our campaign clearly forced them to make changes but the changes they made were not good enough, so our campaign will continue. We will keep pressing them to expand the age range back to the original 0-5 years, keep the cost to an absolute minimum, and keep the sessions available all year round. Thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign – it’s not over yet!