About SureStart Shantallow

SureStart is a government initiative which aims to support parents to give children the best possible start in life. Through the provision of childcare, early education, health and family support for pre-school children and their families SureStart strives to address outcomes experienced by children living in socio-economically disadvantaged areas. Based on the American Head Start model, SureStart was first developed in England by Mr Gordon Brown, then Minister for Finance in the late 90s. In 2001 SureStart money was released to develop projects in the Western Health and Social Services Board area and SureStart Shantallow was established.

Key features of SureStart are:

  • Community Development
  • Universal service
  • Defined geographical area
  • Additionality
  • Needs lead

SureStart Shantallow is one of nine SureStart projects within the Western Trust and was established in 2001 under the Shantallow Community Support Partnership. This partnership was established between Resource Centre Derry and Western Health and social Care Trust with the aim of providing “joined up services” to the community in the Greater Shantallow area.

In November 2006 responsibility for SureStart was transferred from DHSS&PS to Department of Education.

SureStart aims to:

  1. Improve the ability to learn
  2. Improve health
  3. Improve social development.

SureStart Shantallow endeavours to:

  • Provide a supportive, holistic approach through integrated services and an experienced, multi-disciplinary team of staff
  • Provide non-stigmatising services
  • Promote participation of all families
  • Ensure community involvement is core to its programmes
  • Provide a creative and imaginative approach.