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Sep 10 2013

Childrens’ Centres in Harrow

labour_roseHarrow Labour Group have supplied the following press release:

The Labour Group in Harrow strongly believes that every child should have the same opportunities to succeed in life. To achieve this goal we think it is critical that children in their early years and their families are properly supported and have access to the services they need.

We were delighted to see that Hillview’s Children centre received a ‘good’ rating from a recent Ofsted report. Working in a Children’s Centre must be an extremely challenging job and it’s fantastic to see that members of staff were praised for their ability to work well with children from a range of backgrounds, including those with a disability. We were also pleased that OFSTED were impressed with the way the ‘hub’ system was working for Children’s centres in Harrow, as this was a key Labour group initiative.

When in office the Labour group fought to protect funding to Children’s centres from a £1.2 million budget. We protected Children’s Centres as we believe that to break the cycle of deprivation it is essential that children and their families are given all the necessary help to ensure that their children can grow up in a secure and stable household. It is often the case that children and parents from disadvantaged backgrounds can quickly become isolated. This can impact on school performance from an early age and this disadvantage can accelerate as they grow older. This is why Labour wants Children’s Centres to be able to support all children in their early years to ensure they are learning all the key skills necessary for their development. In addition, we want to make the  Centres a place where the local community can access a whole range of service in order to support their families.

The services available in the Centres are constantly being extended. It makes sense that when parents are dropping of their children at the Centres they should be able to access other services that they need. Currently the council’s employment service Xcite is run from children’s centres so parents can receive help looking for work. Also, activities are not just restricted to those within the centre itself, but an increasing range of services are aimed at families within the wider community, for example there was a recent initiative to tackle childhood obesity in Harrow, and health visitors use them as a hub for their visits to families within the local community.

Cllr. Bill Phillips the shadow Portfolio Holder for Children Families and Schools says that: “Children’s Centres are the golden legacy of the last Labour Government and were conceived from our strong belief in all forms of equality. They are important to sustain and develop further. The children that attend are our future, no matter their background, and it is important that each child of Harrow receives the very best start in life that we can possibly give them. Children’s Centres are places where children and their families meet each other in a friendly and supportive environment. We pledge to do everything we can develop them further”.

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