The centre, which is on the site of lady Hawkins High School in Kington co-ordinates a huge range of services for families with children aged five and under. These included weekly play sessions encouraging babies and children’s early development, socialising events for parents and carers, health visitor and ante-natal visits, advice and support on healthy eating and adult learning opportunities. The centre also provides links with local nurseries and schools.
The inspection report published this week judges the centre to be good. The report states that staff are enthusiastic and confident in their roles and that support for families who are vulnerable is good and improving. Membership of the centre includes 370 families and all those who made their comments known spoke with very high regard about the work of the centre and the wonderful support they receive from the skilled and caring staff who they know and trust. One parent described the work of the midwives and health visitors in the area as ‘brilliant’.
The report also says families value their involvement with the children’s centre: according to some families they feel it is the first time someone has listened to them.
Lorna Williamson, local services co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of our first Ofsted inspection. Since we opened in 2002, we’ve worked with local families to make sure that the services we provide are what families want.
“We know our families feel safe and well supported at the centre and the inspectors made reference to the 33 percent increase we made last year to children’s progress scores in the Early Years Foundation Stage. We want to build on this success, by ensuring that we have clear action plans and evaluation processes in place so that we can continue to make real meaningful improvements to our families’ lives.”
“Ofsted inspectors have suggested we encourage more family representatives to have a say in the way the centre is run, so we are beginning the New Year by actively recruiting family members to get more involved.”
The centre’s families and staff are planning to have a play day and consultation event early in the spring where local families will be encouraged to get involved in deciding what services they need and how these can be developed. Families wishing to get involved are encouraged to contact the children’s centre on (01432) 383340.