Hillingdon residents encouraged to have their say on draft family hub and early years nurseries consultation
Wednesday 10 May 2023: Hillingdon Council is inviting children, young people, families, carers, partners, providers and community organisations to have their say on its proposals to roll out a family hub model boroughwide and options for its early year nurseries.
The government has committed to providing family hubs in every region of England to deliver more joined-up and comprehensive family services through a central access point. The hubs offer a variety of integrated services to whole families, parents, carers and children aged 0 to 19 and up to 25-year-olds for those with special education needs (SEND). This approach acknowledges the impact of the right support and care, in the right place, at the right time on the future lives of young people.
Hillingdon Council opened its first family hub in Uxbridge in December 2021, with another due to open in Hayes later this year.
The draft Family Hubs Strategy outlines the council's ambition to expand the family hub model boroughwide and build on existing services, such as children's centres, to offer more joined up support to older children and young people; establish a more coordinated way of working across services and disciplines; and integrate with a wider range of delivery partners to increase the amount of support and services available to better meet the needs of children and families in the very heart of their communities.
Residents will be able to access a variety of information, advice and guidance for family, relationship, health and other issues. The model will deliver programmes that respond to community needs, which can be accessed at the point of need, either in person or digitally, at a hub or community venue no more than 30 minutes' walk or 1.5 miles from a resident's home.
Proposed family services include, children centre groups and sessions, outdoor space for play, youth services, birth registration, parenting programmes and workshops, SEND support, adult education opportunities, information and advice, pre and antenatal maternity support, health visiting and school nursing, mental health services, programmes to encourage healthy weight, and communication, speech and language support.
Six community hubs across the borough have been identified to deliver programmes alongside further delivery points, some of which will be within existing children's centres, community spaces, leisure centres or libraries which may be improved to support the new model.
Residents are also being asked to share their views on proposals regarding the future of the council's directly provided childcare in three early years nurseries.
Cllr Susan O'Brien, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education, said: "I encourage residents to have their say on these proposals, which seek to deliver two of our council commitments of building safe and strong communities and creating thriving, healthy households by helping children, young people and their families to live healthy, active and independent lives.
"The principles of family hubs have been championed by government as key in supporting children, young people and their families, and the council was an early adopter of the model, with co-located services already being delivered.
"The approach, if adopted boroughwide, will allow us to deliver increased services to even more children, young people and families in a more comprehensive, efficient and cohesive way at the heart of communities, where they're needed. It also gives us an opportunity to help children and families earlier, which we know reduces the reliance on other interventions at a later stage in their life."
To view the strategy and have your say visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/hub-nursery-consultation before the closing date on Sunday 30 July 2023.
The council's Cabinet will consider all feedback and the final Family Hub Strategy later in the year.