Board set to discuss future of early years

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COUNCILLORS in Sheffield are set to discuss controversial plans for the future of early years services today.

The Children and Young People’s scrutiny board will meet at Sheffield Town Hall to consider the results of consultation and the final proposals to restructure nurseries and children’s centres.

Last December the council announced proposals which could spell the end of some services in a bid to save the £3.3 million it is losing in Government funding for early years education. Sheffield’s 36 Sure Start centres are being reorganised into 17 hub centres with the rest downgraded into ‘outreach’ sites.

Campaign group Save Sheffield Early Years has waged war against the plans and collected a petition with 10,000 signatures, delivered to councillors last month.

Protesters have organised another demonstration which will take place outside Sheffield Town Hall from 1pm today.

A spokeswoman for Safe Sheffield Early Years said: “The proposals, if they are accepted, will have a devastating effect in the most deprived areas of the city.”