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Funding cut halts mothers' training.

LIVERPOOL mothers wanting to gain new qualifications and return to work after the birth of their children have been told there is not enough money to continue their local Sure Start programme.

The government initiative is aimed at providing training for new parents at a reduced cost, together with a creche.

But the funding has now been cut at the Sure Start scheme at the Millennium Centre in Belle Vale, leaving parents with nowhere to go. Sure Start says a review into the service is now under way.

Linda Whitlow, from Woolton, who has two children, James, five, and Sean, two, has been out of work since the birth of her first son and is now desperate to retrain and gain new qualifications.

Mrs Whitlow has studied various computer courses at the Millennium Centre but is now being forced to stop up because of the lack of funds.

"I cannot afford to pay for a private nursery so I guess I will have to leave my studies. This is against what the Government is trying to achieve in getting more mothers back to work.""

A spokesperson for the Netherley Valley Sure Start Partnership Board said: "Services from the Sure Start Local Programme have been suspended while we undertake a review of the programme's policies and management procedures. "I cannot comment in more detail at this stage."

The future of the Sure Start centre in Wavertree also hangs in the balance while a judicial review into the project, a joint initiative between the council and NHS, takes place.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 16, 2006
Words:257
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