Principal: Ms. M. Culbert
This paper briefly outlines one local response to the needs of our youngest children and their families. The principles behind its operation are as follows:
PRINCIPLES OF OPERATION
- The most effective way of delivering coherent education, health and social services to young families is through integrated centres, which would be easily accessible i.e.
at pram pushing distance.
- That service should be flexible and responsive to the needs of ALL local children and their extended families.
- That education and care are indivisible; that the early years curriculum offered in these services should be developmentally appropriate for 0-5 year olds and should recognise the central position of play and language in early learning.
- That parent education and adult/community education should be made available to parents within services for early childhood education and care.
- That all the staff working in these settings need to be highly trained reflective practitioners with equitable conditions of service (i.e adequate pay, non-contact time, in-service training, supervision, opportunities for promotion etc.)
FUNCTIONS OF THE CENTRE:
The centre is striving for six major strands of activity:
- High quality early years education and care
- Development work with parents
- Family support services
- Community regeneration
- Community based health services
- Training and research
- Demand for our 52 full time nursery places exceeds supply.
- There has been significant increase in demand for services for children with special educational needs
- High demand for locally based adult education and training
- Enormous uptake of parent education courses which focus on how their children learn and how they can support that learning process.
- Constant demands for ‘drop in’ facilities for isolated parents and children under 3 years
- A great uptake of breakfast and after school club places, a demand that exceeds supply.
Integrated services that effectively meet the needs of families with young children can become a real force in the community. They are a vision for the future.