New children's centre to open

A NEW £400,000 children's centre for North West Ipswich will be officially opened this Wednesday.The Meredith Children's Centre, based in Whitton Health Clinic, will offer health clinics, speech therapy, drop-in play sessions, physical activity groups, parenting courses and outreach family support services.

A NEW £400,000 children's centre for North West Ipswich will be officially opened tomorrow .

The Meredith Children's Centre, based in Whitton Health Clinic, offers health clinics, speech therapy, drop-in play sessions, physical activity groups, parenting courses and outreach family support services.

It has also joined forces with a local day care provider within half a mile of the centre to offer childcare and early education.

The centre has been developed as a partnership project by Whitton and Central Ipswich Sure Start Programme, Suffolk Primary Care Trust and Suffolk County Council.

Funding for the centre comes from the National Sure Start Unit with money from central government and joins a growing network of children's centres in Suffolk that provide childcare integrated with early learning for young children as well as access to health services, family support and help into employment, including links with Jobcentre Plus.

Children's centre manager Suzy Turner said: "The Meredith Children's Centre is open to all families. Families from the local community have begun to use the centre and we hope this continues to grow, especially for those seeking support, advice and information about the needs of their children."

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The centre is one of 12 new projects to help improve services for children and families in the Ipswich area.

Liz Gerrie, member of Suffolk Children First and head teacher of White House Community infant school, said: "The services delivered are important for the future of local children.

"The centre is for all families with children under five years old in the local community of Ipswich. The Meredith Children's Centre is a vital part of a growing network of such centres across Suffolk and nationally, which will help to give our children a flying start in life and should make things a lot easier for many hard-pressed parents."

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