Decision on day care centres
THE FUTURE of two day care centres in Widnes experiencing ‘financial challenges’ are due to be decided next year.
Ditton and Warrington Road Daycare are currently both run by Halton Borough Council.
An item for the local authority’s executive board in July proposed the council no longer being the provider of services at both facilities.
A report said that the current business model for both would ‘not deliver sustainable provision’ and that both had a combined deficit of nearly £275,000 between them.
But the item was removed in a bid to review the options to maintain facilities at both Ditton and Warrington Road.
A council spokeswoman told the Weekly News that options are still being explored and that though there is no date set for the item to go back before councillors, but that it will be heard in 2017.
The withdrawn item said: “It is proposed that the local authority cease to be a direct provider of daycare and instead seek alternative providers for the daycare provision from the private, voluntary or independent sector.
“Halton has a vibrant and sustainable private and voluntary early years sector that is able to operate more flexibly than local authority-run provision and, therefore, is better able to meet the needs of parents.”
The document said that both facilities employed 16 staff members and at the time of the report, Ditton had an occupancy rate of 50% in 2015/16 while Warrington Road was running at 78%.
Both facilities offer care for children up to the age of five.