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About our services

Cumbria County Council aims to offer local access to services to make life better for children and families with Cumbria`s Sure Start Children`s Centres, Extended Services and other available services.

Children's Centres

Cumbria`s Sure Start Children`s Centres provide support and information for parents and prospective parents on local services for themselves and their children. They aim to help ensure that these services are made available in an integrated manner, that every child in Cumbria has the best start in life and that parents have better opportunities. They aim to help make communities safer and stronger.

Services are tailored to meets local needs and may vary between different centres. All centres are expected to provide access to, or information about how to access, the following services:

  • Good quality, integrated early learning and childcare 
  • Child and family services
  • Family support services, including support for parents and children with additional needs
  • Links with Jobcentre Plus to support parents and carers who are considering employment or training leading to employment
  • Drop in sessions and other activities for children and carers
  • Support for childminder networks
  • Effective links with the Children and Families Information Service, local childcare providers, out of school clubs and extended services           

In some cases services are provided across more then one site.

Are these services free of charge? 

The majority of services are free, but all centres run differently so it is best to talk to the staff. There will usually be a charge for childcare.


When you register witha Sure Start Children`s Centre in Cumbria we askyou to fill in a form. This section tells you how we will use that information, and how we will keep it toprotect your privacy. Once you have registered youwill have access to a wide range of services from Sure Start Children`s Centres, and receive informationabout future events.

Protecting your Privacy   


When you register with us we keep your details on file. This is because we have to keep a record of how many children the Sure Start Children`s Centres are reaching, and how each child/ren and families in Cumbria have been helped by our services. This is because the Government needs to know that the funds it gives to Sure Start Children`s Centres are working effectively. When you first start using our services we will ask you for some basic information about you and your family, such as age, ethnic origin, and additional needs. This is the same sort of information that is kept by schools and doctors. We will also keep your name and address so that you can be kept up to date with what is happening in Sure Start Children`s Centres in Cumbria. The Data Protection Act 1998 is a law that protects your privacy. If we keep any of your personal information we must:   


  • tell you what information we need to collect from you   
  • only use the information for the reason we have agreed with you   
  • not ask for more information than we need   
  • let you see any information we have collected about you, on request   
  • keep the information safe, secure and confidential, where nobody else can see it   

Our promise to you

  • to not pass on any personal information to other agencies, unless you agree
  • to strictly control access to any information about you
  • to keep any personal records held by Sure Start Children`s Centre staff strictly confidential
  • to keep any statistics that we provide to other agencies anonymous


Important information   


It is important that you understand this information as it tells you what we will keep on our records when you register.     


Sure Start Children`s Centres are committed to protecting children and strictly adhere to safeguarding polices and guidelines. Sure Start Children`s Centres and volunteers will at all times take action that is necessary to ensure children are kept safe and free from harm.     


Sure Start Children`s Centre Services are delivered by Barnardo`s, Action for Children, Howgill Family Centre and Milnthorpe Family Centre on behalf of Cumbria County Council.     


If there is anything you don`t understand or would like more information about, please contact your local Sure Start Children`s Centre or the Children and Families Information Service.     


Children and Families Information Service. Call on 08457 125737 the enquiry line is open 9 am - 5 pm Monday to Friday. All calls are charged at local rate from anywhere in Cumbria. An answerphone is available when the office is closed and we will get back to you as soon as we can.     



Children's Centre Ofsted Inspections


Ofsted has been asked by the Government to inspect all children`s centres. Inspections check whether children`s centres help families with young children to find out about and use the services they need.

Inspections check that centres:

  • know their community and the types of services, activities and courses that families who live there need

  • deliver the services most needed, to a high standard

  • do all they can to help families use the services they need most, especially the families that find it hard to do so, making sure that no groups in the community have been overlooked
  • have good partnerships with health services, employment services, adult training, childcare providers and other relevant services, and that they `join up` the support that families need.

The following list details which Children`s Centres have been inspected, the result and a link to the Inspection Report

Inspections under old Ofsted Framework

Greengate Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection June 2010. Result: Good and Outstanding. Report

West Allerdale Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection November 2010. Result: Outstanding. Report

North East Copeland Chidlren`s Centre, Latest Inspection December 2010. Result: Outstanding. Report

Millom Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection February 2011. Result: Good and Outstanding. Report

Bram Longstaffe Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection February 2011. Result: Good. Report

Carlisle South Petteril Bank Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection May 2011. Result: Good and Outstanding. Report

Workington Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection June 2011. Result: Good and Outstanding. Report

Hindpool Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection October 2011. Result: Outstanding. Report 

Carlisle Rural Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection January 2012. Result: Good. Report

Egremont Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection February 2012. Result: Good. Report

Derwent Valley Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection May 2012. Result: Good. Report

Carlisle West - Newtown Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection June 2012. Result: Outstanding. Report

Lakes Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection June 2012. Result: Good. Report

South Whitehaven Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection August 2012. Result: Good. Report

North Allerdale Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection August 2012. Result: Good. Report

West South Lakeland Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection March 2013. Result: Good. Report

Inspections under new Ofsted Framework

Kendal West Children`s Centre, Latest Inspection November 2013. Result: Requires Improvement Report








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