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Children's centre expansion planned through school handover

Norfolk County Council has announced plans to expand Emneth Children's Centre.

Based at Emneth Nursery School, the building will be handed over to the nursery school so it can develop.

An Early Childhood and Family Service may also provide outreach from the building.

An event at Emneth Nursery School & Children’s Centre in May 2018
An event at Emneth Nursery School & Children’s Centre in May 2018

It comes after members of Norfolk County Council's children's services committee voted in favour of keeping just 15 of the 53 county children's centres open in January.

West Norfolk councillor Harry Humphrey, who represents Emneth, said they are waiting for a provider for the children's centre, who he could not remember the name of.

Mr Humphrey said: "I have asked repeatedly whether it will be provisioned for further services as all the parents in the area use it.

Councillor Harry Humphrey
Councillor Harry Humphrey

"We are all concerned but my experience of Emneth Children's Centre is a very, very good one.

"The headteacher and governing body really want it to carry on and the parents trust the facilities there, but it really does depend on the provider."

Mr Humphrey welcomed the prospect of the school taking on the centre, and said it had a "proven record."

He added: "The nursery school has just had an 'outstanding' rating through supporting families and new mothers who have to have that comfort in the area."

Development plans are also in place for children's centre buildings at Holt, Mundesley, Wells and West Earlham within the county.

Councillor John Fisher, cabinet member for the Children’s Services Committee at Norfolk County Council, said: "The aims of the new service are to increase the proportion of children achieving their developmental milestones, reduce neglect and increase social mobility.

“The proposals for these buildings fully support this – by providing extra early education places and supporting our outreach work in local communities.”

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