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A sure start is a good start - Ruane

20 March, 2009 - by Caitríona Ruane

Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, today visited a Sure Start project in Downpatrick to discuss local needs with parents and staff.

Sure Start programmes work with parents and children to promote the physical, intellectual, social end emotional development of pre-school children to ensure that they thrive when they get to school.

Speaking at the programme in Downpatrick, the Minister said:

“Sure Start projects are unique and valuable, enabling the youngest children in our society to get a good start in their lives. Effective pre-school education in programmes such as these helps our children to improve their social and communication skills in an enjoyable learning environment. Sure Start programmes are not all the same as they are developed around the individual needs of the community they are serving.”

“My department allocates over £20million each year to help the Child Care Partnership ensure that Sure Start helps children and families. Children coming through Sure Start have already been given a boost in their educational and social skills by the time they start school. It is an example of the benefits communities can have when organisations come together for the benefit of society.”


 The principles of Sure Start are to:

·  Co-ordinate streamline and add value to existing services for young families in local communities;

·  Involve parents;

·  Avoid stigma;

·  Ensure lasting support;

·  Be sensitive to families needs; and

·  Promote participation of all local families.

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