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Published: Friday, 23rd June 2017

The Royal Borough's Cabinet agreed to extend contracts of the 23 children's centres.

At a time when many children's centres are closing across the country due to funding cuts, the Cabinet agreed on 21 June to invest £11m to ensure youngsters have the very best start in life.

Providing a range of valuable services

Children's centres provide a wide range of valuable services for children under five and their parents and carers, providing early learning and parenting support as well as access to health visitors and maternity services improving health and wellbeing for the whole family. They also offer signposting to other important services, including financial and benefits advice, skills development and employment for families experiencing financial hardship.

All of the Royal Borough's children's centres have been judged as 'good' by Early Years Improvement Partners, helping contribute to the borough being ranked first nationally in 2016 for the percentage of children achieving a good level of development at age five.

The achievement gap between children who are entitled to free schools meals and their peers is also considerably narrower in Royal Greenwich than it is nationally thanks to the support of children's centres.

Proud to continue investing in our children's centres

Councillor Miranda Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "Our children's centres are a lifeline to many families so I am proud that we are continuing to invest in them at a time when many centres around the country are being forced to close due to cuts.

"By keeping our children's centres open we are continuing to provide valuable support to parents and carers and giving our young people the best possible start in life."

The Royal Borough's children's centres were accredited as Baby Friendly by the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative for excellence in supporting breastfeeding and parent-infant relationships following an assessment visit in January 2017.