A £500,000 boost to Bath & North East Somerset Council’s planned early years 0-11 services budget for 2014/15 onwards will be proposed by the Cabinet.
As a result, the savings target planned for early years services would be reduced from £2.3 million to £1.8 million.
The Council’s suggested approach for the future of early years services will remain. But greater targeted outreach support to the most vulnerable families in society will be increased compared to what was planned under the previous reduction.
More targeted group sessions delivered at the Hubs and all other Centres will be considered.
Councillor Dine Romero (Lib-Dem, Southdown), Cabinet Member for Early Years, Children and Youth, said: “The Cabinet recognises that difficult decisions are being taken in response to the Government’s approach to reducing the national financial deficit.
“We have listened carefully to the views and opinions from the public heard through both the Policy Development and Scrutiny Panel and consultation meetings with parents using our services.
“We will be proposing that £500,000 extra than planned is spent specifically on services that support the most vulnerable families to have positive parenting aspirations and parenting skills, and support children to develop well and be ready for school. This includes our target outreach support workers going out into the community to help families directly.”
Councillor David Bellotti (Lib-Dem, Lyncombe), Cabinet Member for Community Resources, said: “Because the Council has been more efficient in the level of Council Tax that we are collecting and the Government’s local government budget settlement was less worse than feared, more money is available than expected to fund the day-to-day services that the Cabinet considers a priority.
“We are not taking funding away from any other service to the public to achieve this change.”
From April 2015, the overall budget for early years 0-11 services would be £3.1 million compared to £4.9 million today. The financial detail of the revised savings target will be reported when the Cabinet considers its 2014/15 budget proposal on 12th February 2014.