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Government Gives Hillfields Centre Thumbs Up

A government minister has praised the efforts of the flagship Hillfields Early Years centre during a visit to Coventry.

Margaret Hodge paid tribute to its achievements while visiting the centre in Clifton Street yesterday.

It is the first Early Excellence Centre to have a joint Ofsted and Social Services inspection has been given top marks for its work.

EECs provide integrated early education, care and family support such as home visiting.

Hillfields Centre provides full-day, full year, care and education for children from 0-5.

Other services include a creche, a parents group, weekly doctor’s visits and adult learning including support for parents with learning difficulties and other family support.

Mrs Hodge, Minister for Employment and Equal Opportunities, said on her visit yesterday:

"I am really excited by the work being done at Hillfields and the fact that it has received such an excellent Ofsted report.

“We set up Early Excellence Centres to demonstrate models of good practice built on our vision of seamless services to give children the best start in life and to meet the needs of working parents.

“I hope that the good work being done at Hillfields will serve as inspiration for other providers of early years services in the area.

"The Hillfields inspection is the first in a series of Early Excellence Centre inspections to be carried out this year.

“The joint inspection will become the basis for the new integrated inspection service set out in our proposals before the House for a new and distinct regulatory arm of Ofsted.”

Cathy Goodwin, Strategic Director (Lifelong Learning) at Coventry City Council said:

"The Hillfields Early Years Centre is a great resource within Coventry and I am delighted that its work continues to be recognised nationally.

“It has had a very positive effect on the lives of families in the area, which is apparent from the words of praise of local people for its role in their lives."

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CWN / Coventry City Council / Hillfields Early Years Centre / 17 May 00

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