What is Sure Start?
Sure Start is a programme targeted at parents and children under the age of four. It brings together health, family support and early education services which are designed to support children’s learning skills, health and well-being, and social and emotional development.
Services are offered both in the home and in group based settings.
Sure Start in Northern Ireland
Sure Start was introduced to Northern Ireland in 2000 and currently operates approximately 39 Sure Start programmes across Northern Ireland.
The Sure Start initiative targets 0 – 4 year olds and their families, recognising the importance of supporting parents/carers and the value of quality experiences.
Sure Start works with parents and children to promote the physical, intellectual, social and emotional development of pre-school children- particularly those who are disadvantaged-to ensure they can flourish at home and when they can get to school. Over 34,000 children access Sure Start services across Northern Ireland on an annual basis.
Newry Sure Start
All our services are delivered within Newry City in the Newry Early Years Children and Family Centre, in local community venues or in your home.
Services delivered by the project will benefit your families health, physical and mental wellbeing, enhance your children’s development, build on your parenting skills and knowledge, enhance your financial and environmental wellbeing, provide social opportunities with other families and give your children the possible best start in life.
Services are delivered by a multi-disciplinary team so once registered you can be supported as you require, from early pregnancy up to your children turning 4 years old.
This multi-disciplinary team includes a Project Manager, Outreach Workers, Health Visitor, Midwife, Speech and Language Therapist, Social Worker, Parenting Support Worker, Play Development Workers, Childcare staff, Administrators, Mini Bus driver, Co-ordinator of Volunteers & Volunteers.
The Aims of SureStart are to improve:
- The ability to learn by encouraging stimulating play, improving language skills and the early identification and support of children with learning difficulties;
- Health by supporting parents in caring for children and promoting children’s health and development;
- Social development by supporting the development of early relationships between parents and children, good parenting skills, family functioning and early identification and support of children with emotional, learning or behavioural difficulties.