A NEW early years inclusion hub has opened at Wrens Nest Primary School in Dudley.

Council chiefs say specialist provision for children with additional needs will be available for children living in the north of Dudley.

Meanwhile, provision will remain available at Netherton Park Nursery School in Netherton for children in the central Dudley area.

Eight youngsters have been welcomed to the new Wrens Nest inclusion hub – one of five across the borough being rolled out as part of a shake-up of Dudley Council’s early years provision.

Sarah Parkes, headteacher at Wrens Nest Primary School, said of the new facility: “As a school, we are both excited and privileged to be hosting an Early Years Inclusion Hub, which will serve the North Dudley Locality.

“Our Sunshine Room will give children and families the support they are both seeking and deserve at the earliest opportunity."

Councillor Ruth Buttery, Dudley Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, added: “We are delighted to see the Dudley North inclusion hub opening its doors, with the dedicated team now working to settle children into their placements.

“Children from the central Dudley areas are enjoying the same provision at Netherton Park Nursery’s inclusion hub, which opened in December.

“This model is enabling more young children with additional needs to access more support and provision in their local community.

“Five children will join our Halesowen and Stourbridge hubs from next week and we are continuing with the due diligence process for the Brierley Hill hub where hope to welcome children soon.”

The Halesowen and Stourbridge hubs will be located at Caslon Primary School, Cradley, and at Elmfield Rudolph Steiner School in Oldswinford, Stourbridge.

Families of children with special needs were initially sceptical about the plan to introduce separate hubs across the borough, having sung the praises of services offered at Leapfrog and Leapfrog 2 at Netherton Park Primary School which provided support for youngsters with additional needs from across the borough.

They called for a rethink of the plan, raising concerns about staffing levels at the proposed new facilities and how this would affect their little ones, but the council has ploughed ahead with the plan to decentralise the service.

Council bosses said they wanted to provide offerings in five main areas of the borough so children could access support closer to their homes, without the need to travel.

Unveiling the new Wrens Nest hub, the authority said the revised service will offer personalised, targeted and specialist interventions for children and families, and the new network of five hubs has been “designed to have a staffing capacity that meets the needs of children with special educational needs in localities across the borough”.

Families needing help and support can contact the early years team on 01384 814364.