Issue - meetings

Croydon Best Start

Meeting: 26/07/2021 - Cabinet (Item 114)

114 Croydon Best Start pdf icon PDF 786 KB

Cabinet Member: Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Learning, Councillor Alisa Flemming

Officer: Interim Executive Director of Children, Families & Education, Debbie Jones

Key decision: yes

Additional documents:


The Leader of the Council delegated authority to the Cabinet to make the following decisions:




1.   Approve the re-design of the Best Start Children’s Centres into a 3 Hubs and 8 Spokes locality model to provide greater efficiency and co-ordination of service delivery within a reduced budget.  This recommendation has been informed by public consultation.


2.    Note that the Director of Commissioning and Procurement as Chair of the Contracts & Commissioning Board has approved the Procurement Strategy contained in this report and a number of waivers in accordance with Regulations 19.2 of the Council’s Contracts and Tender Regulations. The Procurement Strategy will potentially result in Contract awards for a maximum value of £1,431,533, of which for Lot 1, Child Development and School Readiness services is £1,162,533 and for Lot 2, Parent Aspirations and Parenting Skills services is £269,000.  Contracts will be for a term of 2 years and 4 months. 



The Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Learning (Councillor Alisa Flemming) briefly introduced the Croydon Best Start paper, outlining that the Council had completed a consultation which looked at the future delivery model of children’s centres within the borough. The consultation was centred on moving from the current model of nine designated children’s centres and 11 service access points to ensure better service delivery and reach across the borough.


The Cabinet Member provided the context of the paper, providing an outline of the core focus and features of the program, including the working partnerships with children’s centres and targeted and wrap around supports for families.


The Cabinet Member outlined the proposed delivery model, which sought to provide a number of centres across the borough that offered different services, based on the needs of the area. The proposed centres and spokes were provided as below:



Children’s Centre Hub

Children’s Centre Spoke

Area covered


Kensington Avenue


North West

PIP House

North East



Malling Close

Central East


Central East


Central West



New Addington

South East


South West

Purley Oaks

South West


The Cabinet Member highlighted the importance of the consultation period, which was extended to ensure that ample opportunity was provided to members of the community to provide feedback. This feedback, included responses from children, which had played a meaningful role in the final proposed model, particularly the recommendation to retain Purley Oaks and Shirley children’s centres as part of a coordinated delivery model for Croydon.


The Cabinet Member noted that two thirds of Council budget goes towards supporting education, children and young people and vulnerable adults and as such it was imperative that this money ensured every Croydon child has the best start in life, and that the newly developed delivery model sought to provide that.


Along with the children’s centres it was proposed that there were a number of outreach services from churches, community halls, schools, nurseries, hospitals, libraries and more. The Cabinet Member concluded the presentation and handed over to Debby MacCormack (Early Help Manager).


The Early Help Manager described recent interactions with a local family and the wraparound support they were able to access through a children’s centre; which provided Members with a clear insight into how children’s centres supported families.


Shelley Davis (Director of Education) provided an overview of the consultation and the budget in relation to this matter. The Director of Education advised that the council had received 1365 responses plus a number of individual responses to the consultation, along with 90 responses from the year 5 children from Purley Oaks Primary School. The Director of Education also highlighted that the proposed model aimed to achieve a total saving of £1.1m across the children’s centres and the Best Start programme, whilst still ensuring that there was provision of services across the borough.


The Leader of the Council (Councillor Hamida Ali) summarised the discussions noting that these are vital services and that it was very positive that the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 114