Children's Centres are for families with children under five. In Suffolk we have joined up our Children’s Centre’s with our Health Visiting service, as we believe this will provide you with the best care and support. The Children's Centre teams are made up of Health Visitors, Family Support Practitioners and Support and Information officers.
At Foley House, The Lark and Brandon Children’s Centre’s, we are committed to promoting and providing high quality learning and play opportunities. We believe in valuing and respecting each individual in a welcoming, accessible and inclusive environment. The centre has an equal opportunity policy which is reviewed as a minimum yearly. We offer a range of universal and targeted support and services which are designed to meet the needs of all users.
Where possible, all our group activities are planned to meet individual children’s needs. We work within the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, and will capture evidence of your child’s progress as she/he attends the centre. Play sessions will offer activities which can be arranged to meet the individual needs and requirements of children and adapted sessions to meet individual’s needs. All our toys and equipment are suitable for children aged 0 to 5 years and we have a range of specialist resources, including sensory equipment.
We offer a range of parenting courses to help support parents in supporting their children. Topics covered in the course: strategies around behaviour, setting routines and boundaries and much more. Please see our timetable for a full list of groups and for more information.
Staff are on hand during our activities and can offer help and support as required. One-to-one support is available for families in the home and we will work in partnership with you and other agencies in meeting your families and child’s individual needs. Your child is at the heart of our service, and should you require additional help, we will work with you to help identify any areas of concern, ensuring your child’s wishes and feelings are at the centre of the support. We are trained to use the Common Assessment Framework to ensure that we are able to undertake a good assessment of your child’s needs, recognising and building on their strengths.
Information, advice and guidance is available and we can help to signpost you to other relevant local services and support as required. These can include:
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) which provides information, advice and support to young people and children with SEN or disabilities aged 0-25 and their parents, about education, health and social care
Suffolk Early Learning Together Service
Speech and Language Therapists
Behavioural Support Services
When it is time for your child to start attending nursery or school, we can support you the transition period as we know this can be both challenging and an emotional time. Together, we can develop a transition plan which will help ensure that there is a smooth transition for you and your child.
We work closely with other agencies in the community and have good links with Ipswich Opportunity group, which offers families a range of support services and where children with SEN can access play activities.
Our Centres are DDA compliant and are fully accessible from all entrances and exits.
Our outdoor play areas have easy access and consist of some concreted areas, softer outdoor flooring and grass. We have covered areas at both sites. We ensure all outside venues are accessible to all our families Within the centres we have accessible toilets with baby change facilities which include emergency alarms. All the rooms have non slip flooring and have a mixture including a carpeted area.
The furniture within both centres is entirely moveable and adaptable allowing us the flexibility of creating and moving spaces if required. All resources and equipment are displayed at child-height, and are fully accessible, allowing children to make independent choices about their play.
The Centre is an inclusive setting with staff experienced and trained in early years care and education.
Staff Training undertaken includes
ECAT – Every Child a Talker
Autism Awareness and supporting families
WelComm – staff are trained to undertake WelComm (Speech & Language) assessments and support parents in helping their child’s language development
Elklan – training to support staff working with children with speech, language and communication needs
Build and maintain relationships
Characteristics of effective learning
Children, trauma and violence
Helping parents who misuse substances
Incredible years 0-5
Video Interactive Guidance (VIG)