Sure Start Celebrating the Importance of the Early Years


The Childcare Partnerships within the Health & Social Care Board and the Department of Education jointly hosted a Sure Start event in Belfast City Hall to celebrate the Importance of the Early Years for children and families across Northern Ireland.

The event brought together 180 professionals from a range of statutory, voluntary and community organisations and elected representatives to celebrate the work of Sure Start and to launch the findings of a Sure Start Parental Survey. Partnership working was highlighted as the root of what makes Sure Start work. Some of the attendees gave the following feedback on the event:

“The evidence now around the benefits of Sure Start was very welcome and feedback from parents reinforced this”
“Excellent event with numerous moving stories showing the great work of Sure Start”
“Outcomes for Children and Family from attending Sure Start are very evident!!!”
There are currently 39 Sure Start Projects across Northern Ireland that work in the top 25% most disadvantaged wards. Sure Start is a programme targeted at parents and children under the age of four living in the most disadvantaged areas. It brings together health, family support and early education services which are designed to support children’s health and well-being with three core aims to improve the ability to learn, health and social development.
31,000 0-3 year olds and their Families are registered with their local Sure Start Projects which is 81% of eligible children. In 2016-17 112,000 Sure Start activities were delivered across Northern Ireland………………(Read More)


Click to download the Sure Start Parental Survey 2017.


Click to download the Sure Start Booklet 2017.

Getting Ready to Learn – 2018-19 Applications


Are you a DE Funded Pre-School wanting to improve parental engagement?


500 DE Funded Pre-school settings are participating in Getting Ready to Learn this year, to engage parents more effectively, helping them to create and sustain positive home learning environments.


Funding is available to help settings establish programmes and support will be provided by the Getting Ready to Learn team, during the application process and throughout the year!

How to get involved!


Application forms are now downloadable on the Getting Ready to Learn website for September 2018-19




Western Childcare Partnership Conference 22 March 2018



Supporting Families

The Western Childcare Partnership would like to invite you to a conference to look at Supporting Families on:

Thursday, 22nd March 2018 at 9:30 am – 200 pm in the Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh

Aims of Conference: Sharing Best Practice in Supporting Families

There are many factors that influence children’s development during the early years of life. Parents and families are central to the process as they are the child’s first caregiver, model and educator.  Issues such as maternal & child health during and after pregnancy, the home environment, the family’s social and economic conditions and parenting styles during the early years  will have an influence on the child’s development. So much so that consideration should also be given to the wider physical environment and the networks and structures that support parents in their role of raising happy, healthy, confident individuals. The early years and childcare sectors can do much to support parents with this role.  This year’s conference is intended to share knowledge, information, ideas and best practice on a variety of ways the early years and childcare sectors can support parents and families.


Click to download the agenda


Applications can be made through our website: www. under ‘CPD Training’.  Or by emailing your contact details to:  Attached is a flyer and an agenda containing further information.

A National Survey of Holiday Clubs for Children and their Families

Researchers at Northumbria University are currently undertaking an evaluation into holiday clubs for children in Northern Ireland.  As part of this research, we would like to find out further information on organisations providing holiday clubs.  The aim of this survey is to improve our understanding of the location and types of holiday clubs available to children and their families.

​If you would like to participate, on behalf of your organisation, we invite you to complete the online survey.  The survey will take approximately 6 minutes to complete.


Safefood – Start Campaign


Please click here for information on Safefood new Start Campaign


This 5 year campaign will begin in November 2017, and focus on a healthy weight for children and ‘will aspire to be a society-wide movement that will inspire and support parents to start building and persisting with healthy lifestyle habits’.


For more information and to access the range of resources linked to the campaign go to or