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Early Years Consultation 2016

Update on integrated early years consultation

Many thanks to those who took part in our Integrated Early Years Public Consultation earlier this year. Your views are important as it will help us reshape the service to better meet the needs of the local community.

Please read the concluding analysis from your responses.

The council is now consulting with staff about how to best implement an Integrated Early Years service which puts children and residents at the heart of it.

We want to make sure families and parents and carers in Tower Hamlets are able to have convenient, easy to use, and consistently excellent services at our children’s centres. We want to give you more choices over how you use them, more flexibility around when they are open and a wider range of services that are available.

We know that our children’s centres are highly valued by families, and by staff.  That is why we can assure you that we are not closing any of our children’s centres.  

The results of the consultation and plans for the service will be made public in due course. If you have any questions about the consultation please email ieys2016@towerhamlets.gov.uk or call 020 7364 0479.



On this page you will find information on:

  1. The public consultation

  2. Event PowerPoint presentation

  3. Consultation leaflet

  4. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

  5. Full list of Children's Centre services

The public consultation

The public consultation was held between July 20 and August 20, 2016.  Please see more information below.

Transforming the early years services to deliver the required savings agreed in 2015.

The council is consulting on a new approach to early years for the borough. The Early Years Service and the Children's Centre Service have been brought closer together and are now known as the Integrated Early Years Service.

The next step is to consult with users, staff and partners through a public consultation followed by a staff consultation. The final strategy that we adopt later in the year will re-state our vision is for early years and what policies we intend to adopt to deliver that vision for 2016-21.

The public consultation will inform families and our partners about the likely impact of the proposed draft strategy in making the required savings. The savings are significant and they present us with very complicated choices.

For example, there might be a reduction in staff across the IEYS, or a reduction in services. Equally, services could be re-directed to meet local need. This has the potential to make services more accessible and of better quality. We know that everyone in Tower Hamlets understands why all aspects of early years are so important. We want to hear your views about how we can make the changes positive. We know you value the service so we want to hear your ideas.

We believe the public consultation will provide feedback on some of the ideas already suggested: keeping the "hub and spoke" model for example, and developing the Early Help offer. Another possibility is to re-focus targeted services in relation to need. To do this we need to know what families prefer - what's most important to you? The distance you have to travel? Or the quality and the range of the services once you get there?

Everything in early years depends on everything else, so we also need to hear from private, voluntary and independent childcare settings and from all of our schools. We don't want to make improvements in one area of early years and find that we have caused problems in other areas by mistake.

We have plenty of ideas of our own - we do have very knowledgeable, gifted and dedicated individuals working across all parts of early years. But we also need to hear your views. The public consultation will give you the opportunity to make your suggestions for ways we can deliver the savings within the required time frame.

And we also want to make sure that we are providing the service that you want and that we all share the same vision.

There are two stages to the process we are undertaking.

The first stage is the public consultation process. This will be carried out through:

  • an online survey for respondents to complete - this asks for people's opinions and comments on early years issues that we have identified as being important to families, staff and partners. We will analyse all the responses and use them to develop our planning

  • a final business case - this summarises the complicated early years picture and offers some suggestions about how we can achieve the savings and keep the services strong

This first stage of consultation starts on the Wednesday 20 July 2016 runs up until Monday 20 August 2016.

The second stage of the consultation process is the staff consultation. The date will depend on the completion of the public consultation, but we estimate, that this may start on Thursday 8 September 2016 and finish on Thursday 6 October 2016.

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PowerPoint presentation

The Integrated Early Years Service Restructure - Public consultation events July 2016 PowerPoint presentation is available for those who are unable to attend one of the planned events.

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Consultation leaflet

You may wish to view a copy of our consultation leaflet

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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

This list of FAQs will be regularly updated so you are advised not to save a copy for reference, but refer to the list at all times.

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Full list of Children's Centre services

This is a list of the Children’s Centre services we think are most popular and that you are likely to have used.

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