Early Years Service
Earlier this year, the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) team and FIS (Family Information Service) came back in house to the council.
The Family Information Service provides information about services available to families in Slough, and can help residents with a range of enquiries ranging from finding suitable childcare and activities, to signposting to school admissions services, children’s centres or benefits advice.
The team also supports partner agencies in Slough by providing information about services and supporting them to identify a family’s needs and create an action plan to meet these needs.
Children’s centres are an excellent resource for parents and families, with children aged up to five. Services include:
- free early learning and childcare
- parenting support
- Early Years SEND advice and support
- money and debt advice
- family support
- adult and community learning
- family learning programmes
- into employment advice
- access to community health visitors
- access to early years speech and language therapists
- breastfeeding support
- specialist support on a range of subjects including domestic violence and community safety
- health visiting services.
Councillor Madhuri Bedi, cabinet member for children, education and families, said: “Often the perception is that children’s centres are no more than a nursery, but there are so many more services available. In one place you can get support for your child’s speech and development, find out how to manage your debts, and learn a new skill to better your job prospects. The 10 centres are spread throughout Slough and you can visit any of them, it doesn’t have to be the closest one to where you live. They are friendly and welcoming places, so if you haven’t been before, pop along and see what they can offer you.”
List of children’s centres
- Chalvey Grove - 01753 574387
- Elliman Avenue - 01753 896688
- Monksfield Way - 01753 578691
- Orchard Avenue - 01628 661789
- Penn Road - 01753 574420
- Romsey Close - 01753 540797
- St Andrew’s Way - 01628 559085
- Vicarage Way - 01628 559085
- Wexham Road - 01753 533543
- Yew Tree Road - 01753 527571.
Free early learning
Two year olds from families in receipt of certain benefits are eligible for a free early learning place, of 15 hours.
We would like to encourage all eligible families to take up their place. There are spaces available in Slough in a range of settings, including childminders.
Michael Jarrett, Service Lead – Early Years and Development, said: “There is a direct correlation between the higher attainment of children who take up their free early years entitlement and those who don’t.
“All providers follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (national curriculum), children learn to play, develop relationships, and to manage situations together, with lifelong skills such as sharing and turn taking in order to reach developmental milestones.”
Parents are encouraged to get involved in their child’s learning and go along to centre activities. They can also find learning opportunities when out and about, for example, counting how many red cars or bicycles they can spot along the road, or the number of steps in a flight of stairs, or to spot different coloured leaves on trees.
The council’s Early Years Service works with a range of partners, from schools, health services and Slough’s excellent network of private voluntary and independent sector providers.
They also offer a home visiting service to children with special educational needs and disabilities to see what specific needs they have and how the council can help.
For the first time ever, Slough has exceeded the national average for children securing a ‘good level of development’. Slough children scored 71.2 per cent, while nationally children’s attainment levels stand at 70.7 per cent.
Michael Jarrett said: “This is a massive achievement for all Slough children and a real acknowledgment of the excellent partnerships that exist across the sector. Well done to Slough’s early years’ sector for achieving above the national average!”
Childcare in Slough
There are 135 childminders operating in Slough. Each year, the Early Years Service conducts a childcare sufficiency assessment to measure if there is sufficient childcare to meet demand.