Library and Registrar Case Study
Childrens Centre Cluster Co-ordinator
Ramsbottom and Tottington Childrens Centre
Children’s Centre Cluster Co-ordinator
Radcliffe Childrens Centre Cluster
How it all began?
• In 2007, Bury identified their next stage of Children’s
Centres. Ramsbottom Children’s Centre was designated as
a centre however it did not have a physical building.
• The area around Ramsbottom is a very rural area and for
families to access anything in the reach means either clamp
ons and climbing ropes or 2 buses.
• Partnership working began at this stage when the Co
ordinator approached the Library for possible part time
office use in the building.
• As soon as they said there was some capacity
( WE WERE IN THERE !!! )
• Initially the co ordinator shared an office with the Library
Supervisor and the inside information and knowledge of
who was who began.
• It was stated that “ if you want to know anything
…….stand at the library counter !!
(THIS IS SO TRUE)
• As the Children’s Centre staff team grew services began
to develop and team work across both agencies
• As the centre and library joined forces, the benefits to
families also began to show. People who had never set foot
in the library were now not only coming in to the library to
take part in activities they were also joining the library and
coming back on their own.
• Joint working and sharing of resources all supported
families being offered a wide and varied range of services.
This not only benefitted the families of children under 5
but Childminders, grandparents, library staff, private
providers and local businesses.
(It was a win, win situation overall)
What happened next?
• With the increasing development of services and parental
consultation, one of the issues that arose was the travelling
involved for families with new babies/ siblings to access
services in and around the area..
• (the area is so rural that in the winter of 2010, the only way
into Ramsbottom was by the steam train – we are not
• It made perfect sense to have services within the reach area
rather than expecting families to travel, become stressed
and children to miss out.
• One of the items highlighted was that families had to travel
some distance to register the birth of their babies within the
• A joint meeting was held between Senior Managers from
the library, the Children’s Centre Co ordinator and the
Superintendant Registrar. Initially the support offered from
the registrar was promoting the centres and handing out
• After discussion with the library, the registrar was asked (
begged and threatened ) to offer the Birth registrations
actually in the library at Ramsbottom.
• Fortunately for us the Registrar said yes and the service
• Each service involved had a part to play in this being
the Children’s Centre staff booked the families on,
bought the printer, advertised the service.
the library provided a room and computer access.
the Registrar carried out the service and also promoted
the Children’s Centres centrally at the Town Hall.
• The library at this time supported the Bookstart scheme
and families were encouraged to come into the library to
collect the age appropriate resources. Due to the Registrar
service being offered, the Bookstart resources could also
be collected for the younger age group that the library did
not originally offer. This shows again how families were
being supported to access this service at an earlier age.
• The families who came to register their child’s birth were
also asked to register with the Children’s Centre and were
given information and the opportunity to meet staff, book
on sessions and have any issues and concerns dealt with
promptly and at an earlier stage.
Some of the Benefits
• The list is endless when you begin to breakdown the
benefits to children, families and partners.Some of these
• Services are delivered on families “doorstep” Supporting
• The sharing of resources enables a wider range of
resources/ services to be offered.
• Families can access further services i.e. Adult Learning
courses, Library resources.
• A wide range of staff and expertise to hand. If we don’t
know, we know a “man who can”.
• Financial sharing of costs enables monies to be spent on
other services and delivery of additional sessions.
Some of the Benefits
• Partners gain knowledge of other services that in turn leads
to swifter referrals/ intervention.
• Supporting access to services that would not perhaps have
been accessed previously.
• Earlier intervention – support offered promptly.
• The Library became the “hub” and families began to
associate with the support they could access.
The story so far ……..
• Due to the success in Ramsbottom, the Registrar
developed the service further and now offers the Birth
registrations in 5 out of the 13 Childrens Centre buildings
• The most recent figures show that in total there has been
1,141Birth Registrations across Bury since July
2009(when records began)
• Ramsbottom : 255 . (2009) From July 13 to date 41
families have registered their child ‘s birth. Out of these,
40 (97%) are registered with the Children’s Centre.
• Besses: 253 (2010)
• Woodbank: 18 (2013)
• Sedgley: 316(2012)
• Radcliffe: 286 (2010) - From July 13 to date 55 families
have registered their child ‘s birth. Out of these, 54 (98%)
are registered with the Children’s Centre.
Bury was highlighted in the Best Practice for a Sure Start-
The way forward for Childrens Centres. Report from the
All Party Parliamentary Sure Start Group Available at
Feedback / Comments from
parents“It ‘s the first time I had
actually been in a
“I think it’s excellent that you
don’t have to traipse into the
“Now I’ve met the staff I’m
not as shy and will come to the
“I wouldn’t have had the
money to go into town to do
“Until today I didn’t know
the library was here” “I now know what is going
on for my children”
“I didn’t know all this
went on in here”