Frequently Asked Questions
WHO IS SURE START FOR?
All families with children aged 0-4, or expectant mums and dads who live within our catchment area, are welcome to register. (View postcodes list here…)
HOW DO I REGISTER?
Either call us on 02890860938 or complete our online form (link). We just need your name, address and telephone number and we’ll check you live in our catchment area. Once we have that info one of our family support team will give you a call to organise a visit to talk you through the best programmes for you and your family.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH MY CONTACT INFO?
Your information is stored in your family file on site and our sure start play database. This information is kept secure and handled in strictest confidence.
HOW LONG DOES REGISTRATION TAKE?
Once we have your details a family support worker will normally be in touch between 10-14 working days.
HOW DO I BOOK PROGRAMMES?
Every quarter (3 months) we send out a newsletter with lots of info on the programmes we have on and any special events coming up. This newsletter will have the timetable of programmes and a booking form you can complete and return to us. There will also be an online form option, whichever is easiest for you to complete.
WHAT DO I DO ON PROGRAMMES?
We have lots of different types of programmes from baby massage, cookery, baby yoga, dance and movement, craft and much more. There are programmes you and your child can do together or programmes you can enjoy as a parent while your little one has fun in crèche. There’s something for everyone! Have a look at our programme section for more info.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Everything we offer is completely FREE. We are government funded, which means we supply all of the programmes, events and trips free of charge to our registered families.
WHAT IS SURE START'S DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAMME FOR 2-3 YEAR OLDS?
This programme (known as Terrific Twos in the past) is for pre-pre-school aged children aged at least 2 and 2 months when the programme begins each September. If you are registered with us and your child is eligible we will automatically send an application form, usually in the early New Year.
It is funded by the Department of Education, It operates 7.5 hours per week for between 38 – 40 weeks, Session times are 2.5 hours long, there are three sessions per week, it operates at CEC, Dunanney Centre and Abbeytown Square. It has an essential requirement that parents attend stay and play sessions/workshops once a month and home visits once per quarter.
WHERE IS MY LOCAL ABBEY SURE START BASED?
We have a main office in Rathcoole drive which is called the CEC (Community Education Centre). We also have satellite sites around the newtownabbey area:
- Monkstown Village Centre
- The Dunanney Centre
- Abbeytown Square
- Saint James’ School
- newly added to our sites – Merville Garden Village.
We run different programmes on different sites each quarter. Dunanney centre, CEC and Abbeytown also have a 2 year old developmental programme on site.
CAN I BRING MY OLDER CHILD?
ABBEY Sure Start provides programmes for families with children aged 0-4. Unfortunately we are unable to offer places for children older than 4 so older siblings are unable to attend programmes, trips or events.