Work to begin on Children's Centre

WORK on the long-awaited Children's Centre in New Mills is due to get under way.

At the end of February, part of the New Mills Adult Education Centre, on Spring Bank, will be demolished and a slightly-enlarged building will replace it to create a base for the Children's Centre staff to work from - with modern facilities which will be operational by the autumn.

Coinciding with the start of work on the headquarters building, a Local Advisory Group for the New Mills Children's Centre has been set up.

The group, chaired by Derbyshire county councillor Beth Atkins, will be made up of representatives from health, education, social services and community stakeholders, with the aim of monitoring the development, service delivery and continued evolution of the Children's Centre service in the New Mills area.

Cllr Atkins said: "I am pleased to say that everyone is working well together, supporting and helping the Children's Centre staff to deliver their program while they wait for their base building to be completed."

Eighty per cent of the planned operational services are now being delivered across the area by staff on a range of sites, and by the development of existing health, educational and community services to meet the criteria of a Children's Centre, Cllr Atkins said.

Established to meet the five outcomes of the Government's 'Every Child Matters' program, Children's Centres have been rolled out across the country to enable the delivery of services for children and aims to create an all-encompassing service which ensures children are able to achieve their true potential.

This involves groups of professionals working in co-operation with families.

Cllr Atkins added: "This type of approach encourages and enables professionals to share information and plan together with a family to create a coordinated program for a child.

"This has been long-awaited since the days when Mary Warnock's report established that most or all of us have 'special needs' of some sort at some stage in our lives."