West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

O'Dowd opens new Sure Start accommodation in Omagh

Published: 17 December, 2014

Education Minister John O'Dowd today officially opened new accommodation for crèche facilities at St Conor's Primary School, Omagh. Speaking at the event, the Minister said: "We all recognise that quality early years learning and development opportunities and care have a direct positive impact on a child's educational outcomes in later life. This builds on the very first learning done at home from birth and provides a solid basis for every child's continuing learning journey. By supporting parents and carers in their role as first and ongoing educators, the Sure Start Programme provides a significant contribution to this process." Sure Start programmes are specifically designed to reflect and respond to the needs of the local community and having new crèche facilities will bring much added value to the area. Continuing, the Minister said: "In 2012 I announced my intention to implement a phased expansion programme to extend Sure Start provision to the top 25% most disadvantaged wards by March 2015. The £25million investment during the 2014/15 year has resulted in the creation of new Sure Start projects bringing the total number here to 39 and the expansion of catchment areas for 14 existing projects." In conclusion the Minister commended the LAST Sure Start committee, the staff and the Principal and Governors of St Conor's. He said: "Events such as these demonstrate how effective partnership working between staff, parents, schools, health professionals and other delivery partners underpins successful early years interventions. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit today and it has been my pleasure to perform the official opening for these facilities. I commend everyone connected with the project for their commitment and hard work and wish you well for your future endeavours."