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Children’s centres

22 August 2017

Children’s centres provide a range of services for families and others caring for children under five.

Each centre is different and offers services suited to the needs of local families. These include: 


  • family support and outreach services
  • information and advice on childcare and early learning
  • health services
  • links to Jobcentre Plus
  • support for childminders


Children's centres in Essex are led by 4Children, Spurgeons, and Barnardo’s (which provides a number of centres in partnership with the Pre-school Learning Alliance and Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services).

4Children to close

4Children, a charity which delivers a number of services for children and families in Essex, has announced it will cease trading, with a large proportion of its services transferring to Action for Children.

4Children runs day nurseries and afterschool clubs in the county, as well as operating children’s centres in mid Essex and clubs and activities for children with disabilities across Essex on behalf of the council. 

We have worked swiftly with Action for Children to ensure that they can take over all services and staff in Essex, and make sure that children and families continue to be supported. This means that all frontline jobs in Essex (about 70) have been protected and services will continue.

Action for Children is a large national charity with experience in delivering these services. We are working very closely with them to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible.

We are communicating with as many affected families and partners as possible.

Anyone with queries about affected children’s centres, nurseries or afterschool clubs is encouraged to email

For queries about activity clubs for children with disabilities, please email