An innovative new model of integrated early years’ service provision has been opened by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and NHS Borders in Burnfoot, Hawick.
The Early Years Centre is based within the Burnfoot Community School and will offer a range of drop-in facilities and programmes for parents and children aged -9 months to 8 years from the local area.
The services that will be available include early learning and childcare, midwifery, family support, home school link, financial help in the early years, adult learning, health visiting and school nursing. Volunteering and training opportunities will also be offered.
The centre will be available during the day and throughout the school holidays excluding Christmas and New Year.
Councillor Sandy Aitchison, SBC’s executive member for education, said: “This is the third early years centre to be opened in the Borders with the Langlee and Selkirk communities already experiencing the wide range of benefits that these centres provide.
“I am delighted that young children and their families in the Hawick area are now able to access the range of services on offer and would encourage them to make full use of this excellent facility.”
The event also saw the launch of a new service which will provide free vitamins for women who are pregnant or wishing to become pregnant, and children under five who are resident in the Hawick area.
Dr Allyson McCollam, joint head of health improvement for NHS Borders said: “Vitamins are essential nutrients that your body needs in small amounts so that it can work properly.
“Even though you can get lots of vitamins from a healthy balanced diet, you still might not get everything you need at certain times in your life, such as when you’re pregnant, a new mum or a small child.
“So UK health departments recommend that at these times you should take a supplement containing specific vitamins to make sure you get everything you need. We hope those entitled to these free vitamins through this service will make the most of this opportunity.”
To find out more about the Burnfoot Early Years Centre, phone 01450 375147 or visit them in the Burnfoot Community School, Kenilworth Avenue, Hawick TD9 8EQ. Information about the range of events is also available on the Burnfoot Early Years Centre’s Facebook page.