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21.07.05
More Than £1 Million Pounds Of Objective One Investment To Construct Two New Children's Centres In Cornwall

More than £1 million of Objective One investment has been allocated towards the construction of two new Children's Centres in Redruth and Newquay.

Children's Centres are a vital part of the Government's programme to improve the co-ordination and quality of services for young children and their families living in disadvantaged areas. The aim of the Centres is to improve education and health outcomes for children and their families and give parents greater access to work and training opportunities.

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership said: "This investment will go a long way towards removing some of the real barriers for people wanting to work. It also offers better opportunities for education and training. These Centres will be of great value for hundreds of families and provide a legacy of care and training long after the programme has finished."

Building on the success of the existing Sure Start programme, Neighbourhood Nurseries and Early Excellence Centres, the initiative, which is being led by Cornwall County Council's new Family Service, will see 36 new centres developed across Cornwall in the next three years. Other partners include health, Jobcentre Plus, Devon and Cornwall Police, the local community and private and voluntary sector organisations.

The first phase of the programme involves the opening of 20 Children's Centres in Cornwall by March 2006. A number of Centres are already under construction and the allocation of a grant of £1,149,999 from the Objective One European Regional Development Fund will see two more Centres built at the Pennoweth Primary School Site in Redruth and Trenance Infants School site in Newquay. Both sites quality for investment as they lie within wards targeted for additional support from the Objective One programme.

The two Centres will provide full day care facilities and early education for children aged 0 to 5 years. This will include high quality, flexible and affordable childcare for a minimum of five days a week, 48 weeks a year, 10 hours a day, to meet the needs of parents and carers either in or seeking work. Together they will create 104 full day care places, 27 new childminder places, 10 jobs and support more than 400 local residents.

They will also offer community facilities to support parents and develop an integrated multi agency approach to delivering services. As well as working closely with health and the Police, the Centres will also have links with local training and education providers, Jobcentre Plus, Family Information Service and local community groups and offer training facilities for service providers and local residents.

Jobcentre Plus will use the two Centres to provide outreach advice and guidance on benefits and job opportunities. Representatives from Colleges and Adult Education will be able to use the Children's Centre to raise awareness of learning opportunities and deliver training programmes.

Building work began last week, and is expected to be completed by February 2006, with the doors open by March 2006. The investment from Objective One will be matched by investment from the Department for Education and Science, Cornwall County Council and the Community Fund.

Welcoming the investment from Objective One, Terry Lello, the Executive Member for Children, Young People and Families said: "Children's Centres will play an integral part in the work of the new Directorate of Services for Children, Young People and Families, which is being formed by the merger of the Education Department with the Children's Services section of Social Services.

"This money will enable us to improve the quality of the buildings and help ensure they are well equipped and well resourced to deliver a full range of services to families and other local residents in the area."

The Centres will also include a community café, which will act as a meeting place for parents and outreach advisers and will be used to provide training and work experience opportunities.

Children's Centre staff will work with the local community groups and organisations such as Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change (CN4C), to provide a bridge between the harder to reach clients and the agencies that are there to help them.

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Editor's notes:

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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