Sure Start Month kicks off

Series of local events highlighting family support services

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For details about childcare, out-of-school care, activities, early years facilities and family support contact the Children’s Information Service on 020 8735 5868, email or visit the website at

For out-of-school care and holiday play schemes contact the play service on 020 8753 3786 or visit


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Parents are being invited to discover more about the childcare, early years and family support services on their doorsteps during the fourth annual National Sure Start Month - which also offers residents the chance to find out more about careers in childcare, play work and early education.

There will be social events too – including a Teddy Bears’ Picnic for local parents and children in Ravenscourt Park on 23 June and an end-of-month celebration at the Irish Centre on 29 June.

This year’s theme is ‘your children, your choice’ and the council’s early years service, working with local partners, has the following free events planned:

Choosing Childcare.
Information sessions for parents (all welcome) who want
help and advice about choosing quality childcare:
2 – 4pm, Thursday 2 June at Sure Start Broadway, 49 Brook Green, Hammersmith;
10am - 12noon, Wednesday 8 June at Sure Start Coningham, Melina Road, Shepherds Bush;
10am - 12noon, Monday 20 June at Sure Start South, Sands End Community Centre, 59 Broughton Road, Fulham.

Information Days.
Find out about childcare, early education and family support,
with a face-painter in residence at the Kings Mall sessions too:
10am – 4pm, Saturday 4 and Friday 24 June, Kings Mall Shopping Centre, Hammersmith (with face-painter);
10am – 3pm, Saturday 18 June, Shepherds Bush Market (no face-painter).

Events at Sure Start South
Sure Start South, based at Sands End Community Centre, in Fulham, invites all local parents to a variety of events, including:
a fathers’ session on Saturday 11 June;
safety activities week from Friday 24 June, including two days of first aid sessions.
For details and to book phone 020 7736 5173.

Childminders’ Presentation Evening
Celebration of local childminders’ training achievements: 7 - 9pm, Wednesday 22 June, Randolph Beresford family annex, New Zealand Way, White City.

Teddy Bears’ Picnic
If you go down to Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith, from 11am – 2.30pm on Thursday 23 June you’re sure to find the annual Pre-school Learning Alliance Teddy Bears’ Picnic in full swing. It’s taking place in the under fives’ area next to the tennis courts.

Working with Children
Discover the range of careers, training and job opportunities in early years, childcare and play work and hear about the experiences of other people working with children:
10am - 4pm, Saturday 25 June (venue in central Hammersmith to be confirmed). To book call 020 8735 5868.

Childminders’ Information Session
Residents who would like to become registered childminders can book a place by phoning the Children’s Information Service on 020 8735 5868.

End of Month Celebrations
Exhibition stands and interactive displays for early years practitioners and parents with opportunities to meet people, have refreshments and listen to a short, inspiring presentation from our guest speaker: 3 - 7pm, Wednesday 29 June at the Irish Centre, Blacks Road, Hammersmith.

Sandra McCarthy has been a childminder in Shepherds Bush for more than four years and is now one of six in the borough who helps to support new childminders. She will be part of a new borough-wide childminders’ network, due to be established later this month. She said: “A lot of parents don’t realise how well trained childminders are. We have taken nationally recognised courses as well as attending monthly workshops. The support we have had from the council and Sure Start Coningham has been great.”

Sure Start Month is all about letting people know how important it is to give all children an excellent start. The council is providing free and subsidised childcare and early education in the borough through our their centres and in partnership with the voluntary and private sectors. Sure Start is a government initiative to improve the well-being of children under four and their families. The borough’s three Sure Start programmes are Sure Start Coningham, in Shepherds Bush, Sure Start Broadway, in Hammersmith, and Sure Start South, in Fulham

The Council has attracted £7.2 million of government money to develop three Sure Start partnerships in the borough to provide a wide range of childcare and other services for young families. The borough’s early years service has also established a network of neighbourhood nurseries, which provide affordable childcare for parents who want to return to education, training or employment.

May 23, 2005