First look at 'baby packs' being funded by £360k Rotherham Council investment

THIS is the first look at the sort of “baby pack” set to be given free to all newborns in Rotherham, under a new £360,000-a-year investment.
Cllr Cusworth with an example of what the 'baby packs' might containCllr Cusworth with an example of what the 'baby packs' might contain
Cllr Cusworth with an example of what the 'baby packs' might contain

There are 2,740 children born a year on average across the borough – and their welcome gifts are set to include items like thermometers, towels and nappy vouchers.

Rotherham Council says the baby packs will help give youngsters the best start in life – and registering for them will help parents access after support and advice services.

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The budget – dubbed “family-friendly” by RMBC – moved a step closer with cabinet approval on Monday (12).

It went to a scrutiny meeting last week, when Cllr Josh Bacon, Conservatives, suggested that without means testing, the baby packs could be collected by affluent parents who do not need help. He said this showed Labour gambling with public funds “on a guess”.

Cllr Read said: “If I’m gambling taxpayers’ money on making sure more of the poorest children have clothes, nappies and the essentials, and there’s a small chance that some people on higher incomes will also benefit, that’s a gamble I’m happy to take.”

The exact contents of the packs are still to be decided but included information will cover oral health, safe sleeping, infant feeding, accident prevention and perinatal support.

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Cllr Victoria Cusworth, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Providing all children with the best start in life means starting from the beginning, and sadly too many children in Rotherham are going without some of the basics.

“That’s why I’m so pleased that we are going to be able to support new parents with these products.”