What are Children’s Centres?
Children’s Centres (also known as CC's) are places where families with young children from 0 to 4 years (0 to 8 years for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) or disabilities) can easily access a range of services to support them.
The main purpose of a Children’s Centre is to improve outcomes for young children and their families particularly those that are disadvantaged by poverty or other challenging circumstances.
There are currently eight hubs and eight spokes Children’s Centres in the London Borough of Redbridge, all of which are providing a range of universal and early help services.
What do Children’s Centres do?
Children’s Centres offer information on local services, deliver a range of activities, courses and one to one support. Key service areas include:
- Early education and childcare
- Child and family health services
- Family support services
- Finding jobs and volunteering opportunities,
- Access to adult education and training
- Sessions for parents, carers and childminders
Children’s Centres provide a variety of universal and well-coordinated early help support to those with additional needs. They do this directly or through excellent partnership work with a wide range of agencies/ departments such as GPs, Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapy service, Domestic Violence/Abuse Support and Counselling services, Families Together, Welfare Benefit Advice service, Food Bank, Refugee Support, Targeted Early Intervention and Family Support Service (EIFSS), mental health and well-being support services such as IAPT (NELFT), Specialist SEND services, Redbridge Institute, Work Redbridge, Job Centre Plus, Settings, Schools and other professionals.
Disabilities and SEN
Children’s Centres welcome children of all abilities and backgrounds. Children’s Centres’ work is focused on the following key areas of children’s development:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language
Children’s Centre staff work in partnership with parents, carers and other relevant services to identify needs and put support in place as quickly as possible.
Children’s Centres set up and lead on a ‘SEN and Inclusion Steering Group’ with a wide range of partners from health, education, social care and voluntary sectors who specialise in SEND to ensure their services and resources are accessible to all and of high quality.
All centres have also passed the Louder Than Words assessments in 2015 and re-assessments in 2017.
Children’s Centre SEN ‘Hubs’
Many Children’s Centres have developed sensory rooms equipped with a range of lights, acoustic and tactile interactive equipment that provide a safe and stimulating environment for children and their parents. In addition, three of the centres have been designated as ‘Children’s Centre SEN Hubs’, serving each of the three localities. These three centres – Cranbrook, Loxford and Orchard Children’s Centres – have additional facilities, resources and trained staff to support children and families as well as other centres in their locality with information and advice on SEN.
You can book a sensory room where available to spend some quality time with your child. To do this please call your local Children’s Centre or SEN Hub for further information.
One to One Support
The Children’s Centre Family Support Workers (FSW) work in partnership with families to identify needs of the child and their family, provide one to one support, sign post or refer to other agencies as appropriate. This may involve a single piece of work or something more complicated involving a range of agencies.
What else can I expect from Children’s Centres?
All Children’s Centres in Redbridge:
- Provide a single point of access for parents and carers to get information and advice on local services/organisations.
- Provide a range of high quality universal and a well-coordinated early help offer.
- Take into account the views and opinions of the child (Voice of the Child).
- Run regular Parents’ Forums where parents and carers, including those with children with SEND, can share their views and experiences to help further develop/ shape local services.
- Positively reflect SEN and disability through policies, procedures, literature and images used.
Who to contact
Lisa Allen | Childrens Centre Group Manager | email@example.com