A CHILDREN’S Centre in Purfleet, run by Thurrock Council has been told to improve.
In a report by Ofsted following an inspection last month, the government watchdog has made several criticisms of the service.
1. Despite high levels of registrations not enough families, such as young and lone parents, and those who are workless living in the areas of most deprivation, are engaging with the centre.
2.There are not enough opportunities to help parents enhance their education and progress to training, volunteering and employment.
3.Too few eligible children take up their free entitlement to early education in the local area.
4. Evaluations of services are not sufficiently detailed to contribute to the on-going development of high quality learning opportunities for families.
5.Tracking systems are not yet sophisticated enough to record progress made by families through different programmes over time. This is partly because many initiatives are new and systems are under-developed.
However, the report does make the following positive points.
1. Managers and staff of the centre, who were appointed last May, are delivering effective services. They have a realistic view of the centre and are committed to driving it forward to meet the needs of families. As a result the centre is improving.
2. The centre and its partners work closely together to help some of the most vulnerable families, particularly those with low self esteem, depression and those experiencing domestic violence. Families say that with the help of the centre they feel stronger and more able to cope.
3. Activities that are run for children and parents such as ‘Stay and Play’ and ‘healthy lifestyles’ are well attended and staff have good knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage. As a result, these sessions are effectively run and provide useful pathways for parents to get advice and access to services.
4. The centre is an inclusive, vibrant, warm and inviting place and parents feel able to confide in staff.