Children’s centres are where young children can make friends and learn as they play, and parents and carers can receive professional advice on health and family matters, find out about training and job opportunities and socialise with others.
These much needed and valued family community services deliver services to families with children under five who are most in need of support from the 81 children’s centre sites and many other community venues across Hampshire.
New providers – Action for Children, 4Children and three nursery schools – have recently taken over the management of Hampshire’s children’s centres, bringing with them a wealth of experience and expertise to progress their development. In addition, the number of frontline staff is being increased and existing speech and language provision and health visiting services are being built upon.
The County Council remains responsible for the centres and is committed to their ongoing success, ensuring service delivery is of the highest possible quality and meeting the needs of young children.
Hampshire’s children’s centres have been developed with families to offer services which meet their needs.
Staff from the centres consult with parents and carers, and other key members of the local community, to develop and shape services for the future.
“I’ve been going to Wisteria Children’s Centre in Hart for over a year, and go every week to a toddler group. My children love going – it’s great for their development and keeps them happy and entertained during the school holidays.
“Before I started going I felt isolated but now I’ve made new friends and it’s also helped me improve my confidence. I’ve started a course in childcare and volunteer at the Centre - it’s really important for me that my children see me succeeding and getting back into employment.
“The staff have been so supportive and have helped me to access services. They’ve been accommodating with childcare and have visited me at home. They’ve helped me to get back on my feet and make some positive changes to my life.
“I’ll definitely continue using the service – I don’t know what I’d do without it! It’s great for me, and so nice not to feel stressed and be able to play with my kids.”
Find out more about your local children’s centre, or call 0845 603 5620