Headlines: August 19th, 2004

The integrated approach to education, day care, social support and adult learning for children from 0 – 5 could have applications elsewhere in the school system. An inspection of Early Excellence Centres by Ofsted found that the model which brings together parental and carer involvement in the education and care of children, combined with support services for children, parents and carers, delivers excellent results. The first Early Excellence Centres were established in the late 1990s. They were an innovative development providing full day care for babies and young children under 3 years including sessional care such as playgroups, crèches, before- and after-school care, such as an extended day for nursery children or for primary age children from local schools.The Ofsted report reveals growing evidence that the increased childcare facilities are having a positive effect on reducing the effects of child poverty in some communities. This results partly from the support that allows parents to return to work and partly from the provision of adult and other courses for parents and carers. The Ofsted inspectors found that there was positive action to promote social inclusion, equal opportunities and race equality.

The centres have developed effective collaboration with other agencies such as the health authority, social services, Sure Start, the police and further education colleges. They also co-operate with schools and providers of out-of-school care. Where centres work with families from minority ethnic groups they provide support and advice and this boosts the confidence and self-esteem of parents and children.

PIONEERING EDUCATIONAL MODEL EMERGING FROM EARLY YEARS WORK

Thursday, 19 August 2004

The integrated approach to education, day care, social support and adult learning for children from 0 – 5 could have applications elsewhere in the school system. An inspection of Early Excellence Centres by Ofsted found that the model which brings together parental and carer involvement in the education and care of children, combined with support services for children, parents and carers, delivers excellent results. The first Early Excellence Centres were established in the late 1990s. They were an innovative development providing full day care for babies and young children under 3 years including sessional care such as playgroups, crèches, before- and after-school care, such as an extended day for nursery children or for primary age children from local schools.

The Ofsted report reveals growing evidence that the increased childcare facilities are having a positive effect on reducing the effects of child poverty in some communities. This results partly from the support that allows parents to return to work and partly from the provision of adult and other courses for parents and carers. The Ofsted inspectors found that there was positive action to promote social inclusion, equal opportunities and race equality.

The centres have developed effective collaboration with other agencies such as the health authority, social services, Sure Start, the police and further education colleges. They also co-operate with schools and providers of out-of-school care. Where centres work with families from minority ethnic groups they provide support and advice and this boosts the confidence and self-esteem of parents and children.