Shropshire Council chosen for trailblazing children’s centres scheme
Shropshire Council has been chosen as one of 27 councils out of 120 to trial a Government scheme for Sure Start children’s centres which offers rewards for reaching the most vulnerable families, improving family health and raising children’s attainment.
Shropshire was the only successful West Midlands council in two rounds of applications to become a children’s centres payments-by-results trial area. A first round of nine successful councils was announced in July 2011, and Shropshire was among 18 added to the list this month (September 2011).
Children’s centre services help children aged under five and their families to benefit from high-quality health, care and education support.
Children’s centres in the pilot will be financially rewarded by the Government for their success in helping disadvantaged families get the help they need, enhancing family health and well-being, and ensuring that children develop well and start school ready and able to learn. The scheme also focuses on creating opportunities to develop closer links with partners and local communities.
Councillor Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health and well-being, said:
“The payments-by-results scheme offers a fantastic opportunity and we are thrilled to have been selected to be a trial area.
“Children’s centres play an important role in preparing children for school, helping parents in their role and improving health and well-being. This scheme fits with our commitment to these aims, our work to reshape services to be better tailored to people’s changing needs and increasing the ways for communities to influence services.
“This investment will help in ensuring that we provide services which are focusing on those in greatest need to reduce inequalities, give children the best start in life and provide families with opportunities to gain wide-ranging support.”
For more information about children’s centres call 0345 678 9008 or go to shropshire.gov.uk/childrenscentres.nsf