New Children's Centre Gets Planning Go-Ahead

'West Hill in the Park' will offer free full range of support

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Planning permission has been given to proposals for a new £370,000 children's centre to replace an existing council-run children's facility in King George's Park, close to the Southside shopping mall.

The new centre, which will be named 'West Hill in the Park' will build on and expand the range of services and the excellent work offered at the nearby children's centre based at West Hill primary school, which was subject to a detailed inspection by Ofsted earlier this year and given an "outstanding" rating.

The new centre will offer a daily full range of free children's and family services including drop-in stay and play services, health advice and  parenting support.

The centre based at the school will continue to offer a range of family and adult learning services, including 32 free nursery education places for two-year-olds from the borough's most disadvantaged families.

Children's services spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said: "The new West Hill in the Park children's centre will be bigger, brighter and better than the existing building and have space for a much wider range of services to local families.

"It will also have its own separate outdoor play area so that toddlers can enjoy playing and learning outside, which will of course be especially beneficial in the warm summer months.

"And it will also retain the very popular free drop-in stay and play sessions for the under fives that local mums and dads care about so much.

"This substantial investment means that we are also able to provide 32 free nursery places for children from lower income families. This excellent childcare provision will be a real boost for parents who want to get back into the workplace, take up training or go to college."

Nearly 1,800 free nursery places are being offered to two-year-olds from lower income families in Wandsorth as part of a £6m investment in their education and development.

Work on constructing the new centre is expected to commence in the spring with works scheduled for completion by mid summer next year.

November 15, 2013