A GOVERNMENT strategy is underway in Huddersfield to help families help themselves.
Health, finances, family support, employment and early learning are some of the issues the Surestart initiative is targeting to give children under five in disadvantaged areas the best start in life.
Five Government-funded schemes have been set up across Kirklees to help people in the most deprived areas improve their lives.
Amanda Jackson, programme manager for the Links 4 project, which covers Crosland Moor, Lockwood, Thornton Lodge and the Walpole estate, said: "Poverty is a lack of opportunity.
"We try to help families help themselves by supporting them and offering them access to services.
"This then also impacts on the children."
She said staff worked with families to promote health messages about issues including stopping smoking, healthy eating and breastfeeding.
Unemployed parents were also supported in finding work and offered the chance to sample employment or learn new skills with further training.
The new Children's Centre, Dryclough Road, Crosland Moor, is one of the sites where staff work with parents every week to help improve early learning.
A range of play sessions and activities including a toy library are all available to parents to help boost their child's development.
Other services including benefits advice was also on offer at the centre.
Amanda said: "Parents are a child's first teacher, so if parents are aware of doing little things with them it can really impact positively on that child's life as it gets older."
She said Surestart staff also worked closely with other agencies to help shape services to make them more accessible to families from deprived areas.