Children's Centres aim to give every child the best possible start in life. They are places where families can easily access a range of different services to support them. Here are examples of two of our centres in Waterlooville and Basingstoke.
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Sure Start Children's Centres are for all families with children under five years.
They bring together services within a community, including family support, advice, play sessions, childcare, early-years education and health-care services.
By 2010, there'll be a children's centre in every community, so that all families can access local services. Hampshire County Council have already set up 60 centres in the county and more are on the way.
I'm Mary, manager of Crookhorn Lane Children's Centre. We offer a warm and welcoming environment for families with children under five, to access a range of services and to enjoy activities with their children.
We have a number of drop-in groups here. We have a new parents drop-in called Bumps N Bundles, we have a young parents drop-in group and some toddler groups, and we've activities on Saturday morning, when we're hoping to get some dads involved.
We have family learning programmes and parenting programmes, and we also have access to family support and information on children's services.
There's a health visitor, drop-in clinic and antenatal clinics going on here.
Basically, we do rely on parents to tell us what activities and services they would like us to be delivering here.
I attend the Friday toddler group and the Bumps and Bundles on a Thursday. I'd describe the centre to other parents as friendly, somewhere you can go to meet other parents and make new friends, not just me but Ellie as well.
It's made a huge difference. We've got somewhere to go now. We're not just sat indoors watching the telly or trying to think of things to do.
Hello. What brings you to the children's centre today?
I'm off to the toy library today. It's a good place to come because Jacob likes to interact with the other kids. It's a good place for us to take Jacob as a family, and we can meet new people and make friends.
Every children's centre is different. Here, at Westside Children's Centre in Basingstoke, many services are provided in the community centre.
At Westside Children's Centre, what we want to do is to reach out to all families in the local area and show them what support's available to them.
Our job is to coordinate local services so that we can offer a variety of things for families, to offer the best possible support.
We also have an outreach worker who can visit families in their own homes and build up confidence and encourage families to access the services that we actually put on here.
At the moment, we've got a parent/toddlers group, we've got an art group and we've got a dads' lunch.
We're just in the planning stages and what we're trying to do is put on groups and activities that families would really appreciate or they're telling us that they would like to have.
I found out about the centre through the library, which is next door. I really enjoy coming up here.
I've got two children that I bring with me. It's great for the social side of things, both for the children and for parents. I've met a few people that I still now keep in contact with on a regular basis.