On 6 December, workers in Sheffield Early Years Services will meet with parents to organise a campagin to demand that swingeing cuts to children’s centres and nurseries are shelved.
Services in deprived areas are particularly at risk but the fear is that cuts will come in one large wave, rather than piecemeal.
Current provision, such as a drop-in service for parents to get support as and when it’s needed is threatened.
A council-organised meeting on 25 October to discuss future early years services was shut down when it became obvious that parents and workers had proposals and were not simply going to listen patiently to a justification for the Labour council’s cuts.
Sally, a worker involved in the campaign said: “We don’t want to be passive recipients”; part of the campaign’s aim are to move things away from bureaucratic, box-ticking towards meeting the needs of local parents and children. With a complicated array of council and voluntary sector services, too often, provision has been decided without a transparent process that involves those that know what’s needed.
Having a vision of how services should run, and uniting workers and those that use public services must be at the heart of anti-cuts campaigning.
Campaign meeting: Quaker Meeting House, St James’ Street, Sheffield, Thursday 6 December, 5pm.