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Children's centre a boost for families

PUBLISHED: 14:57 11 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 12 July 2010

Youngsters watch the children's centre opening at Diss.

Youngsters watch the children's centre opening at Diss.

The official opening on Friday of a new children's centre at Diss marked a major boost for families in the north of the county.

The £442,000 development, at the town's infant and nursery school, provides a 'one- stop shop' where parents and carers are offered family support and health care, and links to training and employment advice.

THE official opening on Friday of a new children's centre at Diss marked a major boost for families in the north of the county.

The £442,000 development, at the town's infant and nursery school, provides a 'one-stop shop' where parents and carers are offered family support and health care, and links to training and employment advice.

Rector of Diss, the Rev Tony Billett, said: "As chairman of governors of this wonderful school it really is an exciting prospect to welcome not

just children but the people who care for children. All the health care facilities, and people in the voluntary sector who do so much to make the safety and security of children happen."

BBC Look East presenter Stewart White, who performed the opening ceremony, said the children's centre was "a fantastic idea."

The new building was completed at the start of this year and is already catering for than 300 families in the town and surrounding villages who are registered at the centre. Its manager, Emma Slaughter, said the response and feedback had been "fantastic".

There is a community room that can also act as a crèche, training and consultation rooms, an office and outside play area together with additional facilities housed in an extension to the school. A wide range of services and activities is available such as baby yoga, baby massage, first aid for parents, family finance

drop-ins and help with giving up smoking.

The Diss centre is one of 25 being opened this across Norfolk by the county council. This will bring the overall total to 36 - the authority's long term vision being that every community should have a centre in easy reach so all children and parents can have access to all the services they need.

Rosalie Monbiot, the authority's cabinet member for children's services, said: "Children's centres are about improving life chances for children by providing extra family support, health services and quality of integrated education and childcare for the under fives - together with advice and guidance from Job Centre Plus for parents wishing to go back to

work."

For more details about the services on offer, can the centre on 01379

651786.

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