Notts children benefitting from the 'best start' as plans to expand family hubs start to take shape

Plans to give children in Nottinghamshire the best start in life are taking shape as more family hubs are being created around the county and the next one could be in Sutton.

By Shelley Marriott
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 10:49 am

The Best Start strategy was implented last year and Nottinghamshire County Council's children and young people’s committee have been reflecting on what has been achieved so far and agreed the next steps.

Ambitions include helping parents-to-be prepare for parenthood, helping them to establish good family relationships, ensuring sufficient high quality early years provision and that children are ready for nursery and school.

The next steps will see early years support continue as a priority for the council, at the same time as looking to build the family hub model so that families across the districts benefit from the services from conception until children reach the age of 19 (or up to 25 if young people have special educational needs or disabilities).

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The 'Best Start Strategy' was launched last year

It is intended that family hubs will support a child’s critical early years development and beyond. Accessible, joined-up services will provide universal and seamless support for Nottinghamshire families.

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In December 2021, the committee agreed to create the county’s first family hub in Retford and it will now consult on Summerhouse Children’s Centre in Ashfield and Hawtonville Children’s Centre in Newark to become family hubs.

Both are in priority neighbourhoods and have space to continue offering children’s centre services at the same time as increasing the scope of services offered.

Coun Tracey Taylor, chairman of Children and Young People's Committee, said: “Giving all of Nottinghamshire’s children the best start in life is something we are committed to and I’m proud of what has been delivered for families so far.

"But we are not complacent, we know that there is more that can and should be done and the partnership will help to identify priorities and keep progress on track.

“The potential to expand the family hub model so that we can provide joined up, easy access to support in one place is good news for families.

“I’m pleased that we will be in a position to start local consultation in the coming months for two more family hubs, offering a broader range of joined-up services for our children and families.”