Sheffield children’s centre cuts anger parents

Sure Centre Vox Pop....Centre on Broomhall Road
Sure Centre Vox Pop....Centre on Broomhall Road

NEWS of potential cuts to the budget for children’s centres was met with disappointment by parents in Sheffield.

Families with children at Broomhall Nursery and Children’s Centre, Broomhall Road called for current service levels to be protected.

Mother-of-two Violeta Sotriva, 40, said: “I think this is the best nursery in Sheffield. It takes into account very carefully the emotional developmnent of children and their needs. They are very respectful where children are not always brought up in the most ordinary way. I would do everything I could to support it. My daughter started school this year. She came here and had such a warm relationship with her key worker. There is a baby room, a toddler room and lots of courses. It has great continuity.”

Nerrice Farrah, 31, of Broomhall, takes two-and-a-half year-old daughter Raquah to the centre.

She said: “I’ve got three children and they’ve all been here. I’ve got a fantastic relationship with them. My daughter is autistic and they helped detect it and get the ball rolling for her support.

“I’m expecting my fourth so it’s worrying to hear about cuts. It would be a shame if it was not able to offer the things it does now. This is a very multicultural area, some kids don’t speak English and you see them come on leaps and bounds. They do lots of courses for parents.”

Grandmother Elsie Elliott, 66, whose granddaughter Ruby, four attends Broomhall Nursery and Children’s Centre, said: “It would be devastating if somewhere like this were to close. They do a fantastic amount here. “There is such a big ethnic mix and they provide for everybody. It must be one of the most outstanding children’s centres.

My daughter’s son went to a Sure Start centre from being very young. They are amazing with the kids and everything else, the add-ons they offer.”

But opposition Lib Dems on Sheffield Council said many of the savings proposed could have been implemented sooner without harming services.

Coun Colin Ross, Sheffield Liberal Democrat spokesperson for children and young people, said: “When Labour first came to power, they reversed our plans to directly cut management costs. Labour has has dithered for nearly two years with a review that has yet to deliver a single saving so far.”