Tower Hamlets Children’s Centres are currently closed due to Covid 19
Stand Up for Stay and Play
Sure Start is under threat nationally with many boroughs closing their centres up and down the country. We are lucky to still have 12 centres in Tower Hamlets although austerity has meant cuts to some of the programs that helped mothers back into work, closures of day nurseries and reduced services. Our borough has the highest rates of child poverty in the country and the services provided by these centres are a vital lifeline to many.
Recently you may have noticed that Play and Stay sessions have been greatly reduced in Tower Hamlets. This new term (January 2020) has seen just one session now per week, on the timetable for Overland in Bow and only three over two days per week at Olga, just off Roman Road. Sessions have also been reduced across other centres. When staff cuts were first proposed their biggest concern was their ability to maintain stay and play which they said was the best way for them to reach out to parents who needed their help most. This comes off the back of the closure of our much loved One O’clock club in Vicky Park leaving us to wonder where mums and babies are meant to play?
We are urging all parents/ carers and childminders to please, let your local children’s centres know in writing that you are unhappy with the reductions to stay and play sessions and how much they mean to you and have benefitted your children/ families. You can do this by emailing them or completing a feedback form in your centre.
You can find a list of Early Intervention Leads (Centre Managers) with their contact email addresses on the Tower Hamlets website.
Children’s Centre Services
With Paediatric first aid classes and help with parenting challenges like potty training, Tower Hamlets Sure Start Children’s Centres play a key role in helping families have better beginnings. Each of the twelve Children’s Centres offers fantastic support and a great range of free activities for parents and children 0-5.
Many of the centres have brilliant outdoor play areas and a fantastic selection of toys for little ones along with sensory and messy play. They are a great place to meet other parents. As your children tumble in the soft play together you’ll find that most of the ins and outs of parenting are shared experiences. Sure Start’s aim is to level the playing field and give every family the best start in life; bringing families of all backgrounds together. We have so much in common when it comes to raising our children.
Families can also access a range of facilities to support their health and their children’s development.
All Children’s Centres are breastfeeding friendly and a great place to pop into if you need a calming place to feed.
The Sure Start Legacy
Sure Start was originally introduced more than 20 years ago by New Labour.
In June 2019, a study conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies concluded that Sure Start reduced the numbers of people taken to hospital and saved millions of pounds for the National Health Service. The study found that where Sure Start offered high levels of service in poor neighbourhoods in England, visits to the hospital to treat injuries fell among all children of primary school age, and by a third of all 11-year-olds. Access to the programme cut the probability of admission to hospital in the poorest 30% of areas by 19% at the age of 11. Across all areas, the programme’s effect was equivalent to annually averting 5,500 hospitalisations of 11-year-olds.
Tower Hamlets Children’s Centres – Further Information
Address: St Bartholomew Gardens, Buckhurst Street, London, E1 5QT
T: 020 7364 0539
Address: Wadeson Street, London, E2 9DL
T: 020 7364 7935
Address: 1 Smart Street, London, E2 0SN
T: 020 7364 0349
Address: 15 Chandler Street, Wapping, London, E1W 2QL
T: 020 7364 0423
Address: Commodore Street, London, E1 4PF
T: 020 7364 5260
Address: 90 Stepney Way, London, E1 2EN
T: 020 7364 0537
Address: 2 Belton Way, London, E3 4BB
T: 020 7093 1442
Address: Marner Centre, Devas Street, London E3 3LL
T: 020 7093 1501
Address: 60 Parnell Road, Bow, London E3 2RU
T: 020 7364 1925
Update: There is now a NEW SESSION at Overland Children’s Centre.
MUSIC & MOVEMENT – Every Wednesday, sessions are at 9.30-10.15am and 10.30-11.15am.
Address: 23 – 27 Market Way, London, E14 6AH
T: 020 7364 2856
Address: 115 Three Colt Street, London, E14 8AP
T: 020 7364 0540
Isle of Dogs
Address: Millwall Park, Stebondale Street, E14 3BX
T: 0207 364 1179