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Parents and young children in disadvantaged areas around the country ...
Parents and young children in disadvantaged areas around the country

are to receive a better chance of a good start in life today, under

plans announced by education and employment secretary David Blunkett

and Yvette Cooper, minister for public health.

Mr Blunkett and Ms Cooper welcomed the first 15 Sure Start programmes to get full Sure Start approval, and announced plans to double the number of Sure Start initiatives nationwide, with invitations to develop programmes going out to 69 more areas.

Sure Start works with parents and children to promote the health and

well-being of pre-school children to make sure they are ready to

thrive at school. Today's launch marks the second wave of applications for the government's£452m programme of investment in children and the family.

David Blunkett said: 'Sure Start is going to make a huge difference to the lives of children and families. It is central to our drive to eliminate child poverty and tackle social exclusion. Our goal is simple but ambitious: to provide the support to parents through help in nurturing and developing the health, well-being and learning

capability of youngsters from the very moment they are born.'

Ms Cooper said: 'I am delighted to announce the full approval of the first 15 Sure Start programmes. They have set the standard for future Sure Start schemes to follow, changing people's lives through better services, and - above all - services centred around the needs of the child and the family.

'We have set tough targets for Sure Start projects to meet, but these

programmes have risen to the challenge. They have set out innovative

and imaginative plans to improve the prospects of young children and

families in their communities.

Sure Start is central to the government's aims to tackle health inequalities and give every child the best start in life. Future programmes will be able to learn from their experience.'

Welcoming the second round of invitations, Margaret Hodge, minister

for employment and equal opportunities, said:

'The crucial early years of a child's life are when the foundations

for a healthy, happy childhood are laid. These sure start programmes

will provide a seamless link between the family and early years

settings, ensuring that children from disadvantaged areas receive the

support they need from birth to school.

'With family members increasingly living apart and with the breakdown

of the more traditional family, some parents say they need advice and

support on how best to bring up a family. That is why Sure Start is

proving to be one of the most popular programmes the Government has

introduced since the election. This is how the government is

delivering on its pledge to end social exclusion.'


The 69 districts invited to prepare plans for a Sure Start programme are listed in the attached Annex A.

Sure Start is a cross-governmental programme, announced in July

1998 following the government's comprehensive spending review. The

government is making available£542m (£452m in England) between 1999-2000 and 2001-02 to establish at least 250 programmes across the country.

Details of the 15 trailblazer programmes given full Sure Start

approval are in Annex B.

Twelve larger cities are being invited to prepare a second Sure

Start programme to build on the first round programme they are

developing. These are listed in Annex C.

The deadline for the confirmation of interest from the 69 second

round invitees, in outline plan form, is 14 December 1999. Final

plans should be submitted by 23 May 2000. For further guidance, Sure

Start invitees can call 0171 273 4830 or access


Areas invited to submit applications for the second wave of Sure

Start are below: Ashfield

Hammersmith and Fulham


Barking and Dagenham









Blyth Valley







Isle of Wight






Kensington and Chelsea







South Tyneside







Cannock Chase













Medway Towns



Newcastle upon Tyne




Wear Valley


Nuneaton & Bedworth









Details of the 15 approved trailblazer programmes are below:

1) Birmingham

Based around an existing community-run parent and children centre

in Billesley, the programme builds on existing provision of parent and

toddler groups, play facilities, parent support and training and

drop-in facilities.

Proposed measures to support children with disabilities and special

needs plans to provide support for young mothers living in a nearby

hostel and to support greater access to services for Asian families

Talkstart groups planned for children with language difficulties

Total funding: up to£2,369,704

Contact: Billy Foreman, Birmingham Health Authority (0121 695 2405)

2) Bristol

Based on an existing local project led by Barnardo's

plans to provide a range of accessible services to estates in the

south west area of Bristol

services include quality play centres, loan service of toys and

books, a Bookstart scheme, story telling and work with fathers in

the ante-natal period

Total funding: up to£3,161,682

Contact: Christine Stones, New Fulford Family Centre (0117 978 2441)

3) Blackpool

Centred on Mereside, a self-contained area on the outskirts of

Blackpool strong emphasis on community capacity building, particularly through training both to increase self-confidence and to promote self-sufficiency plans to be open seven days a week

involvement of Fire Service in accident prevention

parents and grandparents will be involved in providing some of the

services such as running storytelling and rhyme clubs

Total funding: up to£1,950,070

Contact: Josette Rees, Social Services Department, Blackpool BC

(01253 477 513)

4) Copeland

Programme led by the Howgill Family Centre, an independent voluntary organisation which is part of the Cumbria Early Excellence Network

parents and professionals will work together across four wards of

Whitehaven to develop local groups and activities to build community


strong emphasis on outreach, including a playbus staffed by

pre-school development and support workers and extra health visiting


Total funding: up to£2,513,829

Contact: Bob Simonds, Howgill Family Centre (01946 62681)

5) Derby

Programme serving the Osmaston/Allerton area plans include a parenting programme for families, help with accessing adult education and family literacy, parent and toddler groups, an extended toy library and enhanced midwifery services

a minority communities link worker is also planned, together with

additional support for children with disabilities or special needs

from Umbrella, a local voluntary group

Total funding: up to£1,978,870

Contact: Nigel Farrow, Derby City Council (01332 716 757)

6) Hastings

Based in the Ore Valley, building on a successful Playlink programme Proposals include a baby and child equipment loan scheme and improving outdoor play facilities through 'pocket parks'

working with 1066 Housing Association to convert some local flats

into a one-stop Sure Start centre

offering special services to meet the needs of young parents and

address the high rate of teenage pregnancies in the area

Total funding: up to£2,761,262

Contact: Jan Casson, East Sussex Social Services (01424 718 511)

7) Leicester

Partnership led by the NSPCC, based in the Beaumont Leys area

Projects include Bookstart (to encourage parents to share their

books with their children), outreach work for families from ethnic

minorities, setting up a network of befrienders, an integrated

holiday playscheme for able-bodied and disabled children

also planned are projects providing support for a childminders'

network, staff training to develop support for children as they

enter nursery or a 4+ unit and help for pregnant teenagers, teenage

mothers and couples who need permanent accommodation

partnership also aims to build on the Beaumont Leys Early Education

Partnership (BLEEP), an existing programme for enhancing parenting

and life skills Total funding: up to£2,834,650

Contact: John Brownlow, NSPCC (0116 276 9999)

8) Manchester

Programme based in the Clayton area, which has a well-developed

resource, the Family Support Initiative at Clayton Children's Centre

It will use the skills of parents to facilitate easy access to

services and support and encourage self-help

a Home-Start programme will be established and an undertaking has

been given to ensure that creche provision is available to support

all adultactivities provided through the Sure Start programme

Total funding: up to£2,522,521

Contact: Vicky Rosin, Education Department, Manchester City Council

(0161 234 7158) or Chris McLoughlin (0161 205 7321)

9) Mansfield

Partnership programme based in the Ravensdale ward of Mansfield to

help children thrive through parents developing good parenting


cluster services will include enhanced midwifery, speech and

language development, portage work with parents, nutrition advice,

work on family health and family planning, maternal mental health, a

toy library, community transport and a community laundrette and work

with the Drugs Action Team

particular effort will be made to engage fathers

Total funding: up to£2,087,000

Contact: Mary Perry, Social Services Department, Nottinghamshire CC (0115 977 3008)

10) North Tyneside

Based around the extension and relocation of the existing Barnado's

family centre in Howdon

Partnership will address needs identified by the local community by

providing preventative advice and support regarding ante-natal care,

security (by the police) and money advice

focus on health, family support, childcare and play and includes a

community mothers scheme and a community caf,

Total funding: up to£2,748,060

Contact: Carolyn McKelvie, North Tyneside Council (0191 200 5512)

11) Oldham

Programme covering the Hollinwood area

closely linked to the Limehurst Regeneration Strategy and to the

expansion of the Barnardo's Community Development (Anti-Poverty)


parents make up a third of the management board and the emphasis is

on flexibility, illustrated in the development of individually

tailored packages for parents and their children

plans for a bulk buying scheme for baby products and courses on low

cost cookery and weaning skills

Total funding: up to£2,806,609

Contact: Colin Baldwin, Social Services, Oldham MBC (0161 911 3775)

12) Oxford

Voluntary sector-led programme which builds on the successful PEEP

(Peers Early Education Project)

Services to be provided include work with Asian families, support

for parents as children's first educators, a toy and book lending

service and transport to help families access services that are not

available locally

Total funding: up to£2,999,915

Contact: Tan Lea, Director of Sure Start at PEEP (01865 774 014)

13) Sheffield

Programme serving Foxhill and Parsons Cross with support from

Sheffield University and NCH Action for Children

aims to provide important basic services such as cookery classes

will also link with a new Healthy Living Centre in Foxhill

Total funding: up to£2,737,302

Contact: Linda Fox, Health Visitor (0114 231 3509)

14) Sunderland

programme focusing on the Thorney Close estate to the west of the


strong emphasis on the emotional security of children and

focuses on attachment and bonding

specific objectives to address post-natal depression and maternal

mental health

plans to bulk buy fresh food and children's essentials to ensure

their availability at affordable prices, and for cookery and healthy

eating advice plans for a parade of community shops and a drop-in


Total funding: up to£2,926,607

Contact: Debbie Burnicle, Social Services Department, City of

Sunderland (0191 553 7181) or Ann Fox, Sure Start Co-ordinator (0191

553 7166)

15) Thurrock

Programme based in Tilbury, emphasising outreach to those at risk

of exclusion and to under-users of services

plans to meet the leisure, recreation and artistic needs of parents

as well as their parenting needs

plans for a community mothers and grandmothers scheme, a parenting

and health bus, a project working with male family members to

encourage them to have a greater parenting role and a community


programme will be based around a new or redeveloped centre with

outposts in outlying areas

an Early Years park is also planned

Total funding: up to£2,749,200

Contact: Mark Gurrey, social services, Thurrock Council (01375 652


Annex C

Listed below are cities with existing first round plans that have

been invited to apply for second round programmes. Details are

provided of their first round application for background purposes

only. Trailblazers from round one that have been given full Sure

Start approval are also noted in Annex B.

1) Birmingham - see Annex B for details

2) Bradford

programme based in the Barkerend area, which has a predominately

Asian community

led by the local authority working with a wide range of local

partners and linked in the Bradford Early Years & Childcare

Partnership and the Health Action Zone programme will deliver

culturally appropriate services using local people as interpreters

for both language and cultural issues

plans to include home visits for all families with a child below

three, parenting education programmes, a children's activity centre,

more childcare and integrated help for children with special needs

Contact: Sheila Rye, Bradford Social Services (01274 751705)

3) Bristol - see Annex B for details

4) Kingston-upon-Hull

Programme designed to serve the northern part of Hull

Plans for food tokens for mothers who breast feed, Sure Start bags

with age - appropriate toys for children and links to a family centre

for children with special needs plans to improve other services, such as housing, which can adversely effect family functioning

Contact: Sandra Waltham, Kingston-upon-Hull Social Services (01482

616 057)

5) Leeds

Programme serving the South Seacroft area of Leeds

A diverse range of partners including parents, Homestart, Family

Support Unit, Pre-school Learning Alliance, Early Years Development

and Childcare

Partnership, NCH Action for Children, MENCAP, SCOPE, Replay Education

2000, Community Health trust, Training and Enterprise Council and the

Local Authority

planned services include a toy library, a family learning centre

and training for people worh work, a meeting place for parents and creche facilities for

0-2 year olds, parent support and training, community baby sitting

and a parents newsletter

the centre is also part of an Early Excellence Centre bid

Contact: Jane Streather, Early Years, Newcastle City Council (0191

232 8520) or Marian Howatt (0191 232 8520)

10) Nottingham

led by NCH Action for Children, the programme will be developed

from the existing Broxtowe Family Centre and serve children and

families in the Broxtowe, Denewood and Strelley area of Nottingham

operating around a new centre with three multi-agency teams and

volunteers, it will offer outreach services, childcare and

centre-based family support services will be developed in

partnership with parents, and local community involvement will be a

key feature of the programme

Contact: Jane Williams, NCH Action for Children (0115 962 2650)

11) Sheffield - see Annex B for details

12) Sunderland - see Annex B for details

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