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Delight over Ofsted report for Harlow Childrens Centres

Communities / Fri 25th Apr 2014 at 12:45pm

TWO children’s centres in Harlow have been given a clean bill of health following Ofsted inspections.

The Meadows Children’s Centre and Burnt Mill Children’s Centre, managed by children’s charity Spurgeons on behalf of Essex County Council, were inspected at the end of March and both received ‘Good’ grades from the inspectors.

The inspection judged the children’s centres and their local outreach centres to be good across all of the following categories:

· Overall effectiveness
· Access to services by young children and families
· The quality of practice and services
· The effectiveness of leadership, governance and management

The report praised staff in particular for the way the centres support families in crisis and helped get families in difficult circumstances back on their feet. The inspectors also praised the centres’ teenage parents groups, reporting that “mothers say they have made friends to share the ‘ups and downs’ of parenthood and some said it was the ‘best two hours of their week’.”

The report also highlighted strong partnerships with health specialists, stating they “help to address any child development concerns at a very early stage through services such as the high quality Talking With Tots speech and language development group.”

Stacy Randall, West Essex regional manager for Spurgeons, said: “We are delighted with the inspector’s findings which reflects the hard work and dedication of the children’s centre staff at The Meadows and Burnt Mill. We are looking forward to continuing to develop the services we deliver for families and strive to provide the best service we can.”

Essex County Councillor Dick Madden, cabinet member with responsibilities for children and families said: “I am delighted to learn that Ofsted has rated both Burnt Mill and The Meadows Children’s Centres as ‘Good’. Children’s centres play an important role in our communities and offer families the support and guidance they need and I am pleased to see that Spurgeons are working hard to deliver good services in these Harlow centres. I am confident that they will continue to deliver a good quality, flexible service under the new children’s centres contract.”

The full Ofsted report is available at www.ofsted.gov.uk

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