Praise for Huyton’s Children’s Centres

Published on: Monday, 28-July-2014

The “dogged determination and commitment” of staff and volunteers at Huyton’s children’s centres has been praised by Ofsted inspectors.

The “dogged determination and commitment” of staff and volunteers at Huyton’s children’s centres has been praised by Ofsted inspectors.

The five Children’s Centres - Hilltop, Jubilee, New Horizons, Acorns and The Robins, which serve families in Huyton and Stockbridge Village, have been given a “Good” rating from Ofsted, with an “Outstanding” judgement for ensuring access to services by young children and families.

Inspectors said that the “dogged determination and commitment” of staff and volunteers at the centre meant that all local young/teenage parents, disabled children and those with special educational needs, and almost all babies under one year routinely engage with the centres.

Ofsted said outreach work with local families is “very effective”, and ensures that families have the individual help they need, particularly at times of crisis. It said: “Parents talk unreservedly of the very effective support they receive at the centres and of the positive impact on their lives.”

The inspection report also commended the volunteer programme run by the centres, which it said had helped some parents “make significant leaps in their confidence, skills and learning”. Volunteers include lone parents, fathers and teenage parents, all of whom benefit from “high quality training”, and many of whom have gone on to achieve higher level qualifications, including diplomas at Levels 2 and 3 in childcare, and even begin working towards Foundation degrees.

The work of the Little Stars group - for families with disabled children or those with special educational needs - was highlighted, with Ofsted observing that it provided “crucial” support, advice and guidance. In fact, Ofsted said that overall support for families with disabled children or children with special educational needs in Huyton was “exceptional” and is valued highly by parents.

Close working between Huyton Children’s Centres, local schools and other early years providers is also reaping rewards. The group run a range of language enrichment programmes in local schools and nurseries and Ofsted noted that: “consequently, children living in the area achieve a good level of development by the end of Early Years Foundation Stage, in line with the national picture.” And: “targeted sessions such as ‘Ready for Nursery’ have a good impact on improving children’s skills and school-readiness and most children are well prepared for school.”

Cllr Gary See, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services, said: “Well done to all the staff and volunteers at all of Huyton’s Children’s Centres. It is clear to see that their dedication and commitment is having a really positive impact on hundreds of families.

“Providing families with the right support at the crucial early years stage not only improves their lives in the short term but also lays the foundation for later life, making children more ready for school and improving the prospects of parents and families.”

Additional Information:

The five children’s centres which make up the Knowsley Huyton Children’s Centres group are as follows:

Hilltop Sure Start Children’s Centre, Bedford Close, Huyton

Jubilee Sure Start Children’s Centre, Twig Lane, Huyton

New Horizons Sure Start Children’s Centre, Astley Road, Huyton

Stockbridge Village (Acorns) Sure Start Children’s Centre, The Withens, Stockbridge Village

The Robins Sure Start Children’s Centre, Pilch Lane, Huyton

The full report can be viewed on Ofsted’s website at