Full Steam Ahead for New Children's Centre

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Full Steam Ahead for New Children's Centre

Posted: 15/03/2007 09:20:11

A £715,000 children's centre providing early years’ education, childcare and support for parents is on track for its official opening this Saturday. (March 17)

Parents and carers have helped design the services available at Shildon Sure Start Children's Centre, in Byerley Road.

The centre is on the site of Shildon's Timothy Hackworth Primary School, named after the local railway pioneer.

It has been developed in partnership between Sure Start County Durham, on behalf of Durham County Council, and Sedgefield Borough Council.

County Councillor Vernon Chapman will unveil a commemorative plaque to officially launch the centre on Saturday, March 17, at 10.30am.

Families can come along from 10am, prior to the unveiling. A children's entertainer will be on hand throughout the day and there will be face painting, arts and crafts.

Staff will answer questions about the activities and services offered by Sure Start.

Those with children aged five and under will be able to access services covering six key areas:

* Family support and parental outreach providing access to specialist services, support and information;

* Early years' education with day care for babies and children until they reach school age;

* Child and family health services including ante-natal and post-natal support and help to stop smoking;

* Support for parents of children with special needs and specialist services for youngsters with disabilities;

* Links with Jobcentre Plus to support parents considering training and employment;

* A base for childminders and a community hub for parents and childcare providers.

Councillor Chapman said: "I am delighted to officially open the Sure Start Children's Centre in Shildon.

"This centre and its team already provide tremendous opportunities for both young children and their families and I am sure it will grow to become an even more important part of community life.

"The official opening is a fitting tribute to the work that has gone into creating this superb facility and it gives families with young children the chance to see what is on offer."

Sure Start County Durham is responsible for delivering the Government's children's centres initiative across the County, with 43 centres planned.'
Councillor Claire Vasey, Durham County Council's Cabinet member for Children's Services, said: "Sure Start is helping to unlock children's potential at a young age by providing access to quality integrated care and early years' education.

"Thanks to this new centre parents can access a number of services from flexible and affordable childcare, allowing them to access education and employment, to advice on health and well-being.

"I am sure the centre will help give young families in Shildon a good start in life."

For further information please contact Michelle Willoughby on 01325 319 753.

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