SEAFORD: Town welcomes children’s centre

County Councillor Meg Stroude leads the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Seaford Children's Centre. She was joined by many local parents, carers and their children, staff from the Children's Centre, including area manager Stella Edmonds and the mayor of Seaford. Picture by Paul Fletcher
County Councillor Meg Stroude leads the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Seaford Children's Centre. She was joined by many local parents, carers and their children, staff from the Children's Centre, including area manager Stella Edmonds and the mayor of Seaford. Picture by Paul Fletcher

A RIBBON-CUTTING ceremony has taken place to mark the official opening of a children’s centre in Seaford.

The long-awaited facility has been provided by East Sussex County Council and is a one-stop shop for children under five and their families.

The centre is based on the site of Cradle Hill School, in Lexden Road, and the county council planned and built it using £740,000 of central government funding.

Parents, carers and their children from the local area were invited to the opening celebrations on Monday, April 4, when Councillor Meg Stroude, Lead Member for Children & Families, joined visitors and staff for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Representatives from some of the partner organisations already working with Seaford Children’s Centre were also present, including the Library Service, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and local health teams, including midwifery and health visitors.

Cllr Stroude said, “It’s a key priority for the council to provide the services and support to young children and their families that help give children the best possible start in life.

“Our children’s centres have been planned in consultation with local families and in close partnership with other local organisations in the community, including schools, health and voluntary services. I congratulate our staff for all their hard work.”

The centre provides different services including baby massage, childminders drop in, parent forums and post natal groups.

Seaford Councillor Tracy Willis, who runs nearby Good Times Pre-School, will move the nursery into the children’s centre at the end of April.

She said, “It’s been 10 years in the making to get something in alongside the school. I’m absolutely ecstatic and can’t wait.”

The centre at Seaford is the latest in a county-wide programme of children’s centres being run by the county council. It is the latest step towards the overall goal to ensure every community in the county has access to children’s centre services.

Stella Edmonds, children’s centre area manager, said, “We’re really excited about this opening, as it brings these services to a whole new area within the Lewes district.

“We want the centre to be a great support for local families and today’s official opening day has been a good opportunity for the different service providers to network and for us to get some direct feedback from parents about what’s really needed here.

“If there are any existing groups, for children 0-5, who would welcome support from our team at Seaford, they are very welcome to contact us.”

Gianni Bianchi, headteacher at Cradle Hill School, added, “With the children’s centre opening on our school site, it allows for even more community work to take place between the schools and families of Seaford.

“We will create sustainable links with the children’s centre and already the school’s ICT suite is being used and we share the sensory room.

“Opportunities are endless as we strive for all children to be given every chance to succeed as they journey from pre-school to GCSE.”

The Seaford Children’s Centre will open 9am-5pm, Mondays to Thursdays, and 9am-4.30pm Fridays. For more details call 464550 or visit: eastsussex.gov.uk/childrenscentres.