Government minister visits children’s hub in Ribbleton

Posted on - 3rd February, 2024 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Education, Kid's stuff, People, Preston Council, Preston News, Ribbleton
Dame Andrea with little Hazel-Rose, Leah and Lee. Pic: LCC

Ribbleton’s Family Hub was visited by Dame Andrea Leadsom, a minister and current MP, on January 25 who met with parents, babies, staff and councillors who attend the service.

During her visit, she highlighted the Lancashire County Council’s ‘Best Start in Life’ scheme which aims to increase the number of children reaching the required standard in English and Maths by the end of reception.

County Councillor Cosima Towneley, cabinet member for Children and Families said: “We believe it is very important that families are offered seamless support through the Best Start in Life service, ensuring they have all they need in one place.

“We want children to be ready socially, cognitively and emotionally for school.

“By taking an early intervention approach, this scheme is turning around children’s futures. This would not have been possible without key services coming together and working collaboratively to target inequalities.”

Read more: Preston pupils win international maths competition

Dame Andrea Leadsom meets members of the service and Councillors. Pic: LCC
Dame Andrea Leadsom meets members of the service and Councillors. Pic: LCC

As part of this, Dame Andrea looked at the speech and language pilot which is being rolled out across Preston, Rossendale and Pendle. 

The Ribbleton Hub aims to give children the best start in life, with Dame Andrea seeing their progress on her visit. 

She looked at the team’s work alongside local maternity services and health visiting, and how they support children to access early years education and become ready for school.

Read more: Preston’s university to pilot sports app for people with disabilities

Dame Andrea meets Laura and baby Casper. Pic: LCC

Also one of the founders of two charities which help parents bond with their babies, the Parent Infant Partnerships (PIPUK) and Northamptonshire Parent Infant Partnership, she shared her support.

Dame Andrea said: “It was wonderful to come to Lancashire to see the important work being done and a real focus on getting support to where it is needed to give every baby the best start in life.

“Working with babies, parents, and carers has always been vitally important to me and I was delighted to hear from families in Lancashire who have been helped to access these services that are so vital in these critical early years.”

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