27 October 2014

Young families can now benefit from a greater range of activities and support for children under five at libraries across the county.

Northamptonshire County Council’s 36 libraries already offer a number of children’s events including Rhymetime and storytelling sessions, but families will soon be able to enjoy an enhanced number and variety of activities which will be rolled out across Northamptonshire over the coming months.

What does this mean for families?

Some of these events will be held at weekends to make it easier for working parents to benefit from them.

Families can now also visit their local library to access a range of advice and information on topics ranging from child tax credits, childcare and job-seeking advice.

Cllr Robin Brown, county council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “Building on the variety of events we already offer at Northamptonshire libraries, we will be providing a range of events specifically for babies under one and ‘stay and play’ activities for children aged up to five.

“Our libraries offer a warm and welcoming space where families can drop in and benefit from all the additional resources we will be developing. Parents will be able to access information about a range of services, including childcare and employment.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for families to visit their local library, socialise with other families and take advantage of the full range of services on offer through Northamptonshire libraries.”

Why are these services now being offered in a different way?

These changes to the way some children’s services are delivered in Northamptonshire have been introduced to help more families to access the support they need in the most appropriate way.

Over the summer, the council introduced a new model for providing support services for children and families which sees Northamptonshire's children centres developed as early help specialists with some of the centres’ mainstream services being provided by the county's libraries.

The changes form part of the council’s response to a series of critical Ofsted inspections of the county’s child protection services last year.