Where the money went (2) – How Labour created Westminster’s network of Sure Start centres

Sure startIn July 2002 new resources were announced by the Labour Government to support children and families, particularly the most vulnerable. Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare programmes were brought together under a single inter-departmental unit based in the Department of Education and Skills (DFES) and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The last Labour Government established a network of eight Sure Start Centres across Westminster
• Church Street

• Dorothy Gardner

• Mary Patterson

• Portman

• Queens Park

• South Westminster

• West End

• Westbourne

Each Children’s Centre offered the following services for children under five and their families:

Education and Childcare
• Early education and day care for children from 6 months to 5 years
• Minimum of 48 weeks per year
• Up to 10 hours per day , 5 days per week (Mon – Fri)
• Lots of family fun and learning opportunities such as stay and play sessions, music and song, story times, baby clubs and special events
• Childminder services attached to the centre

Family Support and Outreach work
Support, advice and information for parents aimed at giving children the best possible start in life – in your own home or at the centres and is given by qualified family support staff:
• Information on and access to local services for children under five and their families
• An information bus that will visit your local area
• Access to a dedicated under fives outreach worker

Child and Family Health Services
Healthcare workers on site to support access to a range of healthcare services such as:
• Speech & Language Therapy
• Smoking Cessation
• Community Midwifery
• Health Visiting

Workshops and advice on:
• Antenatal & Postnatal classes
• Breastfeeding
• Healthy Eating
• Health & Safety

Links to Jobcentres and Training Providers
Co-ordinated services including:
• Advice on entering the workforce
• Personal chats with New Deal advisors
• Group sessions with advisors
• Basic skills training
• Accredited training

Training was supported by Crèche facilities or funded approved childcare.

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This entry was posted in Child Care, Children, Labour Government, Nursery Schools, Poverty, Sure Start. Bookmark the permalink.

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