BUDGET cuts mean that the year ahead is not going to be easy for education and children's services in York according to the councillor in charge of the brief.

Cllr Janet Looker, cabinet member for education children and young people, said the depth of cuts in funding from national government mean that it is no longer possible to get through by "chipping bits off budgets here and there" and plans will have to be put in place to review the city's children's centres in 2015.

There are currently nine children's centres at schools across York and they offer services to all children under the age of five and their families across the city.

They are: Hob Moor Children’s Centre, Westfield Children’s Centre, Carr Children’s Centre, Clifton Children’s Centre, Haxby Road Children’s Centre, The Family Tree at New Earswick, The Avenues Children’s Centre, St Lawrence’s Children’s Centre, Knavesmire Children's Centre.

Cllr Looker said, cuts had already been made to the service by reducing opening hours at some centres, making them satellites of larger centres under a group manager, but further squeezes to budgets mean that head teachers will be consulted about the sort of changes that need to be made.

She said: "How we manage children's centres is an on-going piece of work and in 2015 we will be exploring different ways of running them and in the coming year we are talking to head teachers to work out different ways of doing things. We will also be working closely with health visitors, some of whom are based in the centres."

During 2014, Ofsted inspectors from Ofsted rated the Knavesmire, St Lawrence's and The Avenues children's centres as good in their first inspections, and highlighted the centres' work with vulnerable and hard-to-reach families.

Reports into the children's centres said they worked with "an increasing number of vulnerable families", giving early help so that children and their families could blossom.

To find out more about the nine children's centres in York go to york.gov.uk