School play centre fees up by 150%

I have now been informed that the cost of a play centre place in a local school has risen from £5 per term for the unwaged and gone up to £20. Parents in employment have to pay £5 per day.

In that sense I wonder whether the playground behind Mark House is supposed to replace the play provision and makes equipment available to be used without adequate supervision.

Play centres provide excellent play facilities that are supervised by fully trained staff. Yet the cost of it has risen steadily over the last 10 years. Before that play centres used to be completely free and were provided in each and every school, each day affter school and during the holidays. Then it was relatively easy and more affordable to get  a job whilst now the cost of play centre provision might make it more difficult.

I have heard that some parents are not prepared to pay those £20 and rather not send their children. The only other quality play facility alternative we have on Parkview Estate is the Wednesday play club that is run by St. James the Less volunteers in Ridley House. This runs from 3.30 to 5pm.

The whole emphasis of child rearing should be on sensible supervision and I regret it very much that the Council has stopped the funding for play centres as they used to. I think the solution to children causing problems on the estate with playing of football and other activities is due to not enough sponsored play provision and the latest price rise for play centre provision shows that the council does not see our children as a priority.

A play ground is better than none but I was not aware that the play ground behind Mark House was meant to be a replacement for supervised quality playing time in the local school’s play centre.

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