06 July 2011

The culmination of a multi-million pound investment in Children’s Centres across Northamptonshire has seen the official opening of the brand new centre at Upton Meadows, Northampton this week (TUES).

A total of 19 centres have been designated as part of the final phase to ensure universal coverage across the county for all children from birth to five years and their families, bringing the total of children’s centres in Northamptonshire to 50.

Councillor David Macintosh, cabinet member for community services, said: “The launch of these Children’s Centres is a testament to the commitment of all the organisations involved in this huge undertaking involving the major refurbishment or new builds.

“We’ve invested £5.5 million of central government funding in getting these venues up and running, so that families living in rural areas or communities not already served by a Children’s Centre can now access the same support and services that we know are cherished by their communities where they already exist.”

Children Centres operate as a community hub offering universal services such as: access to family and parenting support; training and employment for families; health services; education and childcare.

Most of the new centres are now operating, providing a welcoming and inclusive environment to help families and their children reach their full potential. Each centre delivers a range of services, some of which are common to all centres and some which are designed with the needs of the local community in mind.

Laurie Long, Group Manager of Children’s Services at Action for Children said: "Action for Children is delighted to be working in partnership with Northamptonshire County Council to run eight of the new Phase Three children's centres across the county. The early years of a child are key in their development and our children's centres strive to give children the best start in life, giving them the opportunity to play, socialise and be stimulated so they can acquire different skills and build confidence. At the same time, we work with parents and carers to help them support their child’s development.”

Lesley-Anne Hamilton, Associate Director for Children and Young People at NHS Northamptonshire, said: "Children's Centres provide a local point of access that is extremely important for families with young children and can help improve their health, well being and future life chances. The NHS is working very closely with our local authority colleagues to develop health services in alignment with these centres, some of which are managed by a local NHS children's service provider .

"We are working to have a named health visitor linked to every children's centre and health services in each centre, or where this is not possible, closely aligned to the centre. This close relationship is particularly important in the light of the Government's new vision for Health Visitors which recognises them as the leaders of the Health Child Programme for under 5s. This latest children's centre provides another opportunity to improve the lives of children and families in our county."

Members of the public who would like more information about Children Centres should contact the Families Information Service on 01604 237935 or email: fis@northamptonshire.gov.uk or visit the county council’s website on www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/earlyyears

The locations of the 19 Phase 3 Children’s Centres:

  • Abington Children's Centre, Northampton
  • Bugbrooke Children’s Centre, South Northants
  • Daventry West Children's Centre, Daventry
  • Desborough Children’s Centre, Kettering
  • Nene Lakes Children's Centre, Wellingborough
  • Hunsbury Children’s Centre, Northampton
  • Deanshanger Children's Centre, South Northants
  • Long Buckby Children’s Centre, Daventry
  • Middleton Cheney Children's Centre, South Northants
  • Newton Road Children’s Centre, Rushden
  • Penfold Children’s Centre, Northampton
  • Towcester Children's Centre, South Northants
  • Roade Children's Centre, South Northants
  • Thornton Children's Centre, Kettering
  • Oundle Children’s Centre, East Northants
  • Thrapston Children's Centre, East Northants
  • Brixworth Children's Centre, Daventry
  • Upton Meadows, Northampton
  • Wootton Children's Centre, Northampton