Celebrations at outstanding centre

WILLOWS Children's Centre in Ipswich is today celebrating Ofsted recognition that it is 'outstanding' in all areas of care. The purpose-built daycare centre in Magdalen Close only opened in January this year and was visited by inspectors in July.

WILLOWS Children's Centre in Ipswich is today celebrating Ofsted recognition that it is 'outstanding' in all areas of care.

The purpose-built daycare centre in Magdalen Close only opened in January this year and was visited by inspectors in July.

Emily Hunt, manager at the 62-capacity centre, said: “We are all so pleased, we have only been open from January and have worked very hard over the last 7 months. To get an outstanding on our first inspection is such an achievement.

“The whole team are very committed and dedicated to providing the highest quality care for children and this has shown in our report.”


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The daycare was funded by a Sure Start grant via Suffolk County Council.

It joins a growing network of children's centres in Suffolk providing integrated childcare with early learning for young children, health services, family support, a base for childminders and help into employment, including links with Jobcentre Plus.

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Patricia O'Brien, portfolio holder for Children, Schools and Young People's Services, said: "This report from Ofsted is very encouraging and I would like to congratulate all those at Willows who have been involved in this achievement. It is good to know that parents in Ipswich can be sure of high quality care for their children at Willows."

Councillor Sue Thomas, who chairs Suffolk Children First, said: "I am really pleased the Willows Daycare has achieved this recognition only a few short months after opening. Children's Centres remain at the heart of our vision to provide a range of quality services for children and families and we are planning to open 35 across the county by March 2008."

Natalie Cox, who uses the daycare said, "As a new mum I needed somewhere the environment is safe and fun, The Willows Children's centre and Daycare have it all. It helped me and my baby develop in all different ways. My child has learnt so much just by coming here."

The Ofsted report said: "Children develop confidence and a strong sense of self through positive interactions with adults.

“They have formed close trusting relationships with staff who are extremely warm and tactile. All areas of children's development are significantly enhanced by the superb quality of the staff's interactions and all the children greatly benefit from the close personal attention they receive."

Is your school performing well? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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