Children’s centre given thumbs up

THE QUALITY of service provided by children’s centres in Hucknall has been given another pat on the back by government inspectors.

Earlier this month, the Dispatch reported on the Butlers Hill and Broomhill venue on Broomhill Road being labelled ‘outstanding’ by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED).

Now we can disclose that the Market Place children’s centre, which is based at the John Godber Centre on Ogle Street, has also come in for praise.

For an OFSTED report has given it a rating of ‘good’, with capacity for sustained improvement.

The report also pinpointed the positive way in which the centre delivers services aimed at giving young children in Hucknall a better start in life.

Lead inspector Alison Veall said: “The commitment of the staff and the creative manner in which resources are used are significant strengths of this children’s centre.”

In her report, she added: “Work in the local community is consistently reaching families, particularly among those who are most vulnerable.”

The Market Place children’s centre was launched in 2008. Its aim is to work with disadvantaged children and their families.

Twenty-one per cent of children in the catchment area of the centre live in households where no-one works.

Services provided range from messy play for youngsters to advice for parents on training opportunities in conjunction with local colleges and on benefits and getting into employment, which is given with the help of JobCentre Plus.

Other initiatives include ‘Push For Fitness’ — a weekly walk-to-health session for mums with babies in pushchairs — healthy-eating promotions, baby massage and support for breastfeeding mums

Work in promoting first-aid for young children and parenting courses was praised.

The centre is proactive with other children’s centres in the town, including High Leys on the campus of Annie Holgate Junior school.

“The staff team is led well by the centre manager and all staff demonstrate a passion for improving the lives of users and their families,” the report adds.

“The centre provides effective support for families experiencing, or at risk of, domestic violence and ensures these families are provided with tailor-made, multi-agency support.”

Areas earmarked for improvement include working with JobCentre plus to identify how many users of the children’s centre are directly helped into work, and strengthening partnerships with health services.

The centre was also encouraged to entice more parents and carers involved in the running of the venue.