New children’s centre opens in Sprowston

Hundreds of youngsters from the outskirts of Norwich now have somewhere new to learn and play after an �80,000 children's centre was opened.

Norfolk County Council has led the project to develop the new centre at Sprowston Infant School and is urging families from across the area to make use of its services.

The Sure Start Childrens's Centre, based at the Recreation Road-based school, was officially opened by Marilyn Brocklehurst, of the Norfolk Children's Book Centre, on Saturday.

The new centre, which is the first in central Norfolk to be fully developed within a school, provides services and support for children under five and their families.

It includes a consultation room, with computer access for the community, a multi purpose room, outdoor play area and office space.

Lucy Wayman, headteacher of Sprowston Infant School, said: 'Having the Children's Centre on the school site has been immensely beneficial to both the school and parents. We all have access to excellent support services for the youngest of Sprowston's residents.

'The parents appreciate having facilities locally such as the 'Stay and Play' sessions and the Health visitor clinics. It helps to put the school at the heart of the community with everything under one roof.'

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The centre will be available to people from Sprowston, Spixworth, Old Catton, Frettenham, Hainford, Waterloo and Stratton Strawless and has more than 1,300 children under five in its area – currently there are 400 registered with the centre.

The centre already runs stay and play sessions across the area, baby massage, parenting courses, music classes, baby signing and direct family support work.

Alison Thomas, cabinet member for Children's Services at Norfolk County Council, said: 'I would urge families in the Spixworth and Sprowston areas to make use of their children's centre – it's a great way of gaining advice and support and making connections with other parents in the local area.'

Have you got an education story? Call Steve Downes on 01263 513920.