MP Gloria De Piero met with Nottinghamshire families during a visit to Eastwood Children's Centre on Friday 20 March.
Ms De Piero, MP for Ashfield and Eastwood, chatted with parents and carers about the service as well as general issues, stresses and strains faced by families in the area.
Ms De Piero was given a tour of the centre by Steve Lack, District Manager for Broxtowe Children's Centre and met with Gail Watson, Children's Centre Co-ordinator and Zoe Turner, Parent and Chair of the Local Advisory Group.
Afterwards, Ms De Piero joined families for the popular Stay & Play activity session, attended by children aged up to 5-years-old, and also took part in their song time session. Stay & Play attracts approximately 20 families, each week.
Ms De Piero said:
“Our local Sure Start received a ringing endorsement from the mums, dads and children I met. These children's centres are wonderful and are a godsend to lots of families in our area.”
Debbie Peters, Parent & regular Children's Centre user said:
“I have been coming to the Children's Centre for 9 years, with my older children and now my youngest. They have all loved it and learnt so much, and it's allowed them to meet up with other children their age, to allow them to learn skills such as sharing. They love all of the activities; especially those that we don't do at home like Messy Play! I have also made lots of new friends.”
Eastwood Children's Centre is run by Nottinghamshire Children & Families Partnership (NCFP); a partnership between Nottinghamshire Healthcare, Family Action and North Nottinghamshire College. It provides advice and support for families and delivers courses, groups and activities for families with children aged 0 to 5. Families are also able to borrow from the centre's Toy Library.
Karon Foulkes, General Manager for NCFP and Nottinghamshire Healthcare added:
“Eastwood Children's Centre provides an excellent range of services to the local community. We are particularly proud of the work with volunteers and having Zoe as a local parent to chair the advisory board. We were very pleased to welcome Ms De Piero to the setting so she could hear first-hand, from parents, how the children's centre meets the needs of families with young children.”
NCFP manages the children's centres across the county, on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council. The County Council appointed the partnership in 2013 to manage its children's centres following a year-long commissioning exercise.