Help for working mums

GOING back to work has never been easier for mothers in south east Ipswich thanks to the Tree House Children's Centre.The Clapgate Lane-based centre, previously Sure Start, has worked to create scores of available childcare and day nursery placements for families in the Gainsborough, Greenwich, Priory Heath and Racecourse areas of the town.

GOING back to work has never been easier for mothers in south east Ipswich thanks to the Tree House Children's Centre.

The Clapgate Lane-based centre, previously Sure Start, has worked to create scores of available childcare and day nursery placements for families in the Gainsborough, Greenwich, Priory Heath and Racecourse areas of the town.

According to recent figures from Suffolk County Council, there are now 129 full-time childcare places available for the under-5s and 88 session places for pre-school children in south east Ipswich.

When the Sure Start Centre concept was launched in 2002 there were no day care places available for young children in the Sure Start South East Ipswich area.

This translates to an increase of more than 150 per cent in childcare places in the past three years.

There are now also 145 childminder places, 30 holiday club places and 30 after-school club places.

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Sandra Shears, manager at the Tree House Children's Centre said: “What matters is that parents have a choice and that what is provided is of a high quality so that parents know their children are well looked after.

“The recent positive OFSTED report in November stated that the excellent communication with the Sure Start Centre provided a seamless service for parents accessing the facilities and that the children are happy and settled with the nursery and the staff.”

The Tree House Children's Centre has also helped to ease the problem with the launch of its own 24-place nursery.

Prices at the nursery are kept as low as possible to help families in the area on low-incomes.

Nursery manager Julie Dixon said: “We strive to ensure all the children get the most out of their time with us and we provide a safe and stimulating environment where children can have fun and enjoy learning through fun and play.”

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