ALCESTER Children’s Centre is being brought under a collaborative management group under a process to reorganise management and responsibility for the county’s 39 children’s centres.

Alcester & District Children’s Centre, is being grouped together with South West Warwickshire Clopton and District Children's Centre, Stratford Children's Centre, Studley & District Children's Centre and The Parenting Project as part of the plans.

Contracts for the provision for under fives and their families, have been formally awarded to two providers, The Parenting Project, which is managing three of the south Warwickshire groups, and Barnado Services LTs, which is handling the other seven.

The move is part of an effort to cut the budget for the individual centres and reduce the management and operational costs.

Warwickshire County Council’s head of strategic commissioning, Chris Lewington, said: “We have always been open about the financial challenge we face and have made some tough choices with the best interests of local families always at the heart of our decision making. We had to strike a balance between doing what is best for our children whilst working against of backdrop of reduced budgets. These condensed management arrangements allow us to make savings whilst minimising impact on our ability to deliver services.

“We know how highly regarded our children’s centres are and we have done everything we can to avoid closures and to develop an early years offer which retains targeted support to those who need it most.

“We could not do this without strong foundations to build upon so wish to take this opportunity to thank the current providers for all they have done to develop high quality children’s centre services for Warwickshire. We hope they will continue to work with us and the new providers to support the transfer in order that we may continue to offer this valued support.”

The successful companies have already given information about how they will support the council’s goals, and they will soon be speaking to local families about their needs, in an effort to develop supportive relationships.