MP joins Eastwood play date

MP Gloria De piero met parents and carers at Eastwood's Stay & Play group run by Sure Start.
MP Gloria De piero met parents and carers at Eastwood's Stay & Play group run by Sure Start.

Eastwood’s Sure Start group met local MP Gloria De Piero at the town’s popular “Star & Play” session last for parents and carers to bring their children together.

The Ashfield and Eastwood MP heard how the service is under pressure as there are 720 fewer centres active now compared to 2010.

Eastwood Children’s Centre is run by Nottinghamshire Children & Families Partnership (NCFP).

It provides advice and support for families and delivers courses, groups and activities for families with children aged 0 to 5.

Families are also able to borrow from the centre’s toy library and a local midwife holds a clinic on Friday afternoons

Debbie Peters, a parent and regular children’s centre user said; “I have been coming to the Children’s Centre for nine years, with my older children and now my youngest.

“They have all loved it and learnt so much, and it’s allowed them to meet up with other children their age, to allow them to learn skills such as sharing.

“They love all of the activities, especially those that we don’t do at home like Messy Play.

“I have also made lots of new friends.”

Sure Start children’s centres were one of the “proudest achievements” of the last Labour Government, said Ms De Piero.

Gloria added: “Our local Sure Start received a ringing endorsement from the mums, dads and children I met. These children’s centres are wonderful and they a godsend to lots of families in our area.

She added: “Those that remain have cut their hours and their services. Labour created Sure Start. Labour cares about Sure Start. Labour will save Sure Start.”

Centres in many areas are being mothballed because councils aren’t making the best use of their services, at a time when childcare has reduced by 47,000 places nationally. Eastwood’s Stay & Play sessions are attended by around 20 families each week.