Home Business and economy Increasing early years provision in Halewood

Increasing early years provision in Halewood

by Jonathan Kearney

Funding from Section 106 grant funding agreements, associated with the 1,237 new homes currently under construction as part of the East of Halewood development, is being used to create additional nursery capacity locally in order to meet a forecast in demand for places.

The additional provision is part of a wider £30 million investment in Halewood over the coming years. This will also fund significant improvements to the retail offer and town centre amenity, new and improved sports and leisure facilities, enhancements to green spaces, increased primary school capacity, enhanced walking and cycling routes and improvements to local roads and infrastructure.

To support early years provision, remodelling work at New Hutte Children and Family Hub in Halewood will create an additional 7 full-time childcare places, expanding the offer to 62 full-time childcare places in total.

A day nursery has been provided on the New Hutte site since 2016. Following the closure of Barton Day Nurseries (Halewood) Limited at the site in January 2023, the Council’s Early Years team supported Torrington Drive Community Association to carry out a competitive procurement process to provide early years provision at the site. Little Seedlings Day Nursery Limited has been awarded the contract.

Section 106 grant funding agreements are investments from housing developers when new homes are being built in the Borough. The funding is used to invest in infrastructure and facilities in the local area. You can find out more here.

As a consequence of the new houses currently under construction as part of the East of Halewood development, an additional 48 early years places have been identified. In order to meet this demand, the Council has been working with providers and has so far, secured 39 of the required 48 places through:-

  • 26 additional places at Plantation Primary School as part of the reconfiguration and expansion of the school from a 2 to a 3 form of entry.
  • Improving facilities at a 75 place nursery at Holy Family School which will result in the creation of 6 additional places (taking the facilities total to 81).
  • Re-establish the former nursery at New Hutte Children and Family Hub, together with its expansion of provision from 55 to 62 places.

The Council is continuing to work with partners and providers to secure the remaining 9 places in the local area.

Remodelling and improvement works to the building at New Hutte Children and Family Hub will shortly be undertaken. The works are due to be completed by December with the nursery opening its doors in January 2024.

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We all want the very best start for our children and young people and I’m delighted that we are able to expand our childcare offer in Halewood to meet the needs of the community.”

Cllr Tony Brennan, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, added: “I’m delighted to see how the Section106 funding is being used in Halewood for the benefit of the local community. Our ambitious house building programme is not only offering more choice for existing and new residents in terms of home styles, sizes, locations and budgets, but it is also ensuring that the local area is receiving investment where it is needed to improve local facilities and services.”