Cheshire East will have to stump up nearly £2m to fund an improvement plan to bring its children’s services up to standard, according to a council report.

The council's children’s services was recently judged to be inadequate by Ofsted, which said too many young people are leaving local authority care without the correct help and support.

A report to next week’s meeting of the council's children and families committee states: “The revenue costs associated with the improvement plan are expected to be for additional resources required for an 18-month period.

“The costs are anticipated to start in September 2024, resulting in seven months of costs in 2024/25 and a further 11 months in 2025/26.

“The revenue costs are estimated to be £1.987m in total, profiled as £628k in 2024/25 and £1.359m in 2025/26.”

The report adds the costs could exceed this amount, depending on recruitment.

It continues: “The costings are based on Cheshire East Council employed staff being recruited to deliver the plan, and the intention is to recruit on a permanent basis to attract the best candidates.

“At the end of the 18-month period the staff will then be transferred to any existing vacancies within the directorate to avoid any risk of over-recruitment.

“If the service is not able to recruit to these posts and needs to utilise more expensive agency workers, then the service will need to consider how to mitigate any additional costs.”

The report adds funding for these costs is anticipated to be met through existing service budgets.

It states: “Currently £1m per annum has been identified within existing budgets, meaning that the total costs over the two years could be funded from existing budgets as long as all other savings are delivered to plan and there is no additional growth required for placement costs in-year.

“There are potentially some capital costs that could be required and, alongside the use of existing budgets, the service will continue to investigate if any alternative funding sources could be identified to support the plan, including S106 funding subject to the allocation criteria of the developer funding received.”

A further report detailing the funding and financial implications, which has not yet been published, is expected to be available by the time of next week’s meeting.

The meeting will be held at Crewe Municipal Buildings on Monday, July 8, at 2pm.