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Brinnington Children's Centre in Stockport has been rated as "Outstanding" by Ofsted.
The Stockport Council Sure Start facility, inspected last month, is believed to be one of the few children's centres in the North West to receive the highest grading from Ofsted. It was "Outstanding" overall and "Outstanding" in every area inspected.
Ofsted said that the welcoming and friendly centre, which provides an extremely calming environment where everyone receives a warm and personal welcome, has successfully established itself at the heart of the Brinnington community.
"Brinnington Children's Centre is managed very well and all involved share a commitment to making a difference to children and their families in the community, always striving to do things even better. This is achieved through professionals working extremely well together to support parents, carers and children," inspectors said. "Children, including those with special educational needs and disabilities, make outstanding progress from their starting points for developing the skills that will help them in the future." Ofsted said that the centre is an extremely safe and secure environment where safety and well-being are given utmost priority. Ofsted is confident that vulnerable families are being identified and safeguarded early.
Kim Boughey, the Children's Centre Leader, is praised for her strong and effective leadership. The centre has a coaching style of leadership which supports and values staff.
And local primary schools say that children joining them from Brinnington Children's Centre are very well prepared and get off to a flying start. Councillor Mark Weldon, Executive Member for Children & Young People, said: "The outstanding report is a remarkable testament to the hard work and commitment of Kim Boughey, her team at the centre, all in the Children's Centre Service, and the Council's many partners. Children get the best possible start to their young lives at Brinnington Children's Centre."
In a letter to parents and carers, Ofsted wrote: "Your centre successfully supports you through the many challenges you and your families face, greatly improving your circumstances. You told us that you enjoy coming to the centre and highly value the high quality activities and services provided for you and your families. You told us that you now have more self-esteem and confidence in your capabilities and aspirations for the future. Many of you have accessed further training, work experience and employment as a result. This is a fantastic achievement."
"The centre places great importance on ensuring you are consulted meaningfully and your views listened to and used to shape services," it adds.
Parents and carers said that there is a "massive community spirit" at the centre, and their children have come on "in leaps and bounds". The centre "caters for every child’s needs", is like "a home from home", and has "a caring ethos where staff never judge, they just help. We feel valued and listened to."