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Weir announces temporary expansion of Sure Start programme

Education Minister Peter Weir has allocated over £1.5m for a temporary expansion of the 2021/22 Sure Start programme.

Sure Start services are targeted towards the 25 per-cent most disadvantaged areas in Northern Ireland.

The Minister said:

“The COVID pandemic has created many pressures on families and it is clear that these pressures are having greatest impact where disadvantage already exists.

“That is why I have allocated over £1.5m to enable expansion of services to an additional 22 areas which now fall within the most disadvantaged areas in Northern Ireland.

“A review of Sure Start planned for 2021/22 will examine how funding can be targeted most effectively so that it provides support to children and families in greatest need.

“I will, subject to funding, prioritise continuation of the expansion funding with the aim that it will be available in these areas for at least a two year period from March 2021. Funding beyond this period will take account of the findings of the planned review of Sure Start.”

The 25 per-cent most disadvantaged areas are per the Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure (NIMDM) 2017.

Sure Start projects are in the process of developing services to include the additional 22 areas.

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