Better support for families as school launches nursery

Published on: 02 May 2013

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IT’S a new era at Barley Close Primary School, which opened a nursery for two-year-olds after the Easter holidays.

The nursery sessions take place in the former Sure Start building on the school site in Royal Close.

The school has taken over management of the centre from South Gloucestershire Council.

There are 20 places for two-year-olds to attend for 15 hours a week, from 9am to noon Monday to Friday.

The nursery is now accepting applications for places in September.

Family services will be provided in the afternoon, running regular “stay and play” sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays and offering one to one support for families.

Other groups such as childminders and the National Childbirth Trust will also be held in the centre.

Danielle James, manager of the two-year-olds’ nursery and the school’s family support worker, said: “Families can come here and feel they are supported. There is no stigma about asking for help.

“The good work of the Sure Start centre will carry on, but with more focus on outreach work.

“It will be more flexible. I will be able to visit families in need of support in their homes.”

The centre already has strong links with health, police and other agencies and intends to build on those to further assist parents and children in need.

Geoff Howell, chairman of the school’s governors, said they had decided to take on the running of the building as soon as they heard it was being decommissioned by South Gloucestershire Council, which has decided to target its services for young children in six priority neighbourhood areas.

Headteacher Nicola Antwis said: “I was desperate not to lose the facility because I have seen the impact it has on families. This is a very exciting project and it means we can work with children from birth to the age of 11 and with their families.”

Deputy head Joe Beament has been leading moves to set up the new provision.

The council-run Sure Start centre in Page Road, Staple Hill, is one of the six that is remaining open.

Other centres may be taken over by schools, childcare providers and other voluntary and community sector organisations.

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