- The Dry Arch Children's Centres, Glenshane Business Park, 50, Legavallon Road, Dungiven, Co Londonderry, BT47 4QL
- Contact Person
- Sharon White
- Telephone Number
- 028 7774 2904
- Email Address
- Web Address
Sure Start is a government programme which aims to achieve better outcomes for children, parents and communities by:
increasing the availability of childcare for all children
improving health and emotional development for young children
supporting parents as parents and in their aspirations towards employment
We will achieve our aims by:
helping services development in disadvantaged areas alongside financial help for parents to afford childcare
rolling out the principles driving the Sure Start approach to all services for children and parents.
The Sure Start, Extended Schools and Families Group supports families from pregnancy right through until children are 14, including those with special educational needs for those with disabilities up to age 16. The guiding principles, drawing on best practice in early education, childcare and Sure Start local programmes, are:
1. Working with parents and children
Every family should get access to a range of services that will deliver better outcomes for both children and parents, meeting their needs and stretching their aspirations.
2. Services for everyone
But not the same service for everyone. Families have distinctly different needs, both between different families, in different locations and across time in the same family. Services should recognise and respond to these varying needs.
3. Flexible at point of delivery
All services should be designed to encourage access. For example, opening hours, location, transport issues and care for other children in the family need to be considered. Where possible we must enable families to get the health and family support services they need through a single point of contact.
4. Starting very early
Services for young children and parents should start at the first antenatal visit. This means not only advice on health in pregnancy, but preparation for parenthood, decisions about returning to work (or indeed, starting to work) after the birth, advice on childcare options and on support services available.
5. Respectful and transparent
Services should be customer driven, whether or not the service is free.
6. Community driven and professionally coordinated
All professionals with an interest in children and families should be sharing expertise and listening to local people on service priorities. This should be done through consultation and by day to day listening to parents.
7. Outcome driven
All services for children and parents need to have as their core purpose better outcomes for children. The Government needs to acknowledge this by reducing bureaucracy and simplifying funding to ensure a joined up approach with partners.
- Available to Age Groups
- Category of Services
- Areas covered