Swindon AdvertiserTop marks for children's centre (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Top marks for children's centre

Swindon Advertiser: Project worker Sandie Arrell-Stoneham pictured at Robert Le Kyng Children’s Centre in June with Ellie Symons and Summer Symons Project worker Sandie Arrell-Stoneham pictured at Robert Le Kyng Children’s Centre in June with Ellie Symons and Summer Symons

A BARNARDO’S children’s centre is celebrating after receiving its first Ofsted report.

The Robert Le Kyng Sure Start Children’s Centre, in Westcott Street, was visited by inspectors last month, and was judged to be good across the board.

The project, managed by the charity on behalf of Swindon Council, provides free support and advice to local families with under-fives.

Ofsted inspectors met parents, staff and local partners and examined paperwork regarding safeguarding and development plans and there was particular praise for the cookery courses, breastfeeding support, dads groups and work around domestic violence, and how it encourages volunteers and helps some of them into employment.

The Ofsted report said: “There has been a very clear focus on developing the skills of staff to enable them to provide a wide range of services, enabling the centre to meet the needs of a large majority of families within the community.

“Staff develop good relationships with families and are effective in encouraging those from its target groups to access its services.

“For example, the centre is engaging with the large majority of lone parents. It is reaching most of the pregnant teenagers and children with special educational needs or disabilities but is also supporting many from outside the area.

“A number of parents commented how they had been able to develop new interests and how their health and wellbeing had improved.”

The report also said that vulnerable families in the town can be assured that they are well looked after at the centre.

“Outcomes for users are good,” it said.

“The centre ensures users are signposted to schools and colleges where they develop literacy, numeracy and computer skills, and commissions courses for those learning English as an additional language.

“Vulnerable families are well looked after.”

Barnardo’s children’s services manager Julianna Forrester said staff were pleased with the report.

“This was our first inspection so we were delighted to achieve such a positive rating,” she said.

“It is a tribute to the hard work, dedication and commitment of our staff and volunteers, as well as the achievements of local families in turning their lives around.”

The Robert Le Kyng Sure Start Children’s Centre also provides stay-and-play sessions, baby massage classes, rhyme times and toddler gyms, as well as groups for young parents and childminders.

For more information call 01793 525830 or visit www.barnardos.org.uk/rlkchildrenscentre.

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