100 signatures reached
To: Wandsworth Council
Keep 'Stay & Play' at Franciscan Children's Centre
Please reconsider the recent vote to discontinue 'Stay & Play' at Franciscan Children's Centre. This is an essential service to the children and parents who access it.
Why is this important?
'Stay & Play' is a free service open to all families and children local to Franciscan Children's Centre. It provides the opportunity for children to access indoor and outdoor space where they can engage in child lead play and develop, learn, play, sing, enjoy messy play and integrate into their community. It also provides a support network for parents where their children can play with their peers, meet other parents, talk to professionals and ask advice. Many parents feel isolated in London and 'Stay & Play' at Franciscan Children's Centre is a unique service which encourages families to come together, talk, ask questions in a relaxed, fun and non intrusive environment.
I have accessed stay & play at Franciscan Road for both my children and watched them grow, learn and gain the confidence and independence to explore and understand their community. Many families who currently access this service do not have alternative options for their children to play locally. The parents who go to stay & play are from a diverse background and this is a non means tested service that allows children and families to play and have fun in a relaxing environment without feeling stigmatised. Many of the play groups within the area around Franciscan Road are already full and therefore difficult to access. There are a vast number of families in this area who need this service including single parents, parents with health problems, families who are struggling economically and cannot afford private play groups, families who have recently moved to the UK who do not speak English, parents who are seeking guidance and help in raising their children and parents simply seeking a fun and friendly environment for their children to play.
The importance of this service cannot be underestimated, this kind of support is not available at other play groups or sing along sessions. By discontinuing stay & play at Franciscan Children's Centre, Wandsworth Council is withdrawing vital 'Early Years' support to huge number of parents and children who currently rely on this service. We urge the Council to continue providing stay and play as an integral part of the services at Franciscan Children's Centre.