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About Us

Quick Links: Click here to find out if you live within our area.

About Story Wood Children's Centre & Sure Start Kingstanding

Story Wood is a Sure Start Children's Centre which originally started life in June 2003 as Sure Start Kingstanding.  Since that time the programme and range of services and activities on offer have gradually grown and developed.

In December 2005 the programme was awarded Children's Centre status (meaning more children and families could now access more services ). A little over a year later in January 2007 Sure Start Kingstanding officially took on a new identity and became The Brambles Children's Centre, moving into a new purpose built centre on Hastings Road, in the grounds of Perry Common Junior and Infant School.  In September 2011, Perry Common J & I School and Brambles Children's Centre became Story Wood School and Children's Centre.  

Story Wood Children's Centre offers families with pre-school children a wide range of services and activities, as well as information and advice.  Our aim is to help give children the best start in life - find out more about us by checking out other areas of our website, or contact us to find out more information.

Story Wood Children's Centre offers its services to families living within the Kingstanding and Perry Common areas of Birmingham.  Click on the quick link at the top of the page to find out if you fall within our catchment area.  Even if you fall outside of our catchment area you are still welcome to come along to our centre and join in with our activities, we may also be able to you refer you to another children's centre nearer to you.

About Children's Centres in General

Birmingham is changing the way services are delivered to children, young people and their families, in partnership with health, the police, and the voluntary sectors.

The following information will provide an overview children's centres, which will form a key part of the new model of service for children's services in Birmingham.

What is a Children's Centre?

Children's centres bring together childcare, early education, health, family support, training and employment services for families with children under five years old to provide the 'core purpose'.

It is the cornerstone of the Government's drive to tackle child poverty and social exclusion working with parents-to-be, parents/carers and children to promote the physical, intellectual and social development of babies and young children so that they can flourish at home and when they get to school.  Children's centres are legislated as part of the Apprenticeship, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009.

The Core Purpose

The core purpose that children's centres are required to deliver is to:

Improve outcomes and narrow the gaps, particularly in tems of identifying, reaching and supporting the families in greatest need to improve their:

  • Parenting capacity
  • Health and wellbeing (including economic wellbeing)
  • Child development and school readiness

This will be achieved through:

  • Assessing need in the local community to inform a local, integrated offer of support which ensures funding and resources are aimed at those in greatest need
  • Provision of integrated support to children and families, with a range of targeted evidence based interventions for those in greatest need
  • Acting as a hub for the local community, building social capital support for the early years settings

Children's Centre Priorities

  • Narrow the gap between those children who do well and those who do less well
  • Tackle child poverty through working with Jobcentre Plus to improve access to work
  • Improve Early Years Foundation Stage Profile results
  • Safeguard children and protect them from significant harm
  • Reduction in hospital admissions for children under five
  • Assess the needs of children and families from first contact through to service exit
  • Reduce health inadequalities

Children's Centre Services

  • Integrated early education and childcare-all centres offering early years provision have a qualified teacher supporting the early years practitioners to develop the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum
  • Support for parents-including advice on parenting, local childcare options and access to specialist services for families.  Family support is seen as all services which aim to promote family wellbeing by improving relationships in families and improving standards of living.  Children's Centres provide a wide range of such services, including home visiting, parenting courses, drop-ins, support groups, family learning activities, adult education and employment support
  • Child and family health services-including health screening , health visitor services, midwifery services, healthy eating and oral hygiene
  • Helping parents into work-with links to the local Jobcentre Plus and training

How Children's centres fit into the new model of service

In Birmingham there are 75 children's centres that provide services across the city.  These centres have developed from existing resources such as Early Excellence Centres, Sure Start Local Programmes and Nursery Schools.

Bimringham is developing it's children's services so that they are delivered in 16 localities across the city, making services more available in local communities.  It is proposed from April 2012, that the 75 Childrens' Centres will be networked in each of the 16 localities to deliver the core purpose services and activities from hub and satellite centres. 

The new ways of working will enable Children's Centres to build on existing services and work in an integrated way with all other children;s services such as the Integrated Family Support Teams and target services so that they are in the right place for the right children and families at the right time.

To view information about current Children's Centres in the Birmingham area click here.

We offer the following services for children under five and their families:

Family Support and Outreach work

Support, advice and information for parents and families. This may be provided in your own home, at one of our centres, or other local venues and is given by qualified family support staff:

  • Information, advice and access to local services for children under five and their families
  • Groups (like coffee mornings) and one-to-one support (at drop-in sessions, home visits or by appointment) for parents
  • Fun days and other special family events
  • Short courses for parents
Child and Family Health Services

Services, information, advice and support around healthcare issues such as:

  • Speech & Language Therapy
  • Lots of family fun and learning opportunities such as stay and play sessions, creches, playschemes, coffee mornings and afternoons and much more
  • Giving up smoking
  • Healthy eating & nutrition
  • Antenatal & Postnatal support 
  • Breastfeeding, weaning 
  • Health & Safety
Links to Jobcentres and Training Providers

Co-ordinated services including:

  • Advice on entering the workforce or returning to work
  • One-to-one sessions with advisors to discuss your needs 
  • Ad hoc basic skills courses & accredited training
  • Signposting & referrals to other relevant services
Training will be supported by Crèche facilities or funded approved childcare where possible.


 Summary for centre users

 "We inspected the Story Wood Children's Centre on 27 and 28 September 2011.  We judged the centre as satisfactory overall.

We would like to thank all those of you who gave up time to meet with us and tell us about your experiences at Story Wood Children's Centre.  It was very helpful to hear your views.  We agree with you that the activities the centre plans for you and your children are enjoyable and valuable for those who attend.  You also told us that all of the staff involved in the vcentre work hard to help you and your children, especially when you have a problem, and we could see that his is the case.  You told us how friendly and approachable everyone is and how happy your children are, and we agree with you.

All of the people who work at the centre are working hard, supported by the governors of Story Wood School, who have responsibility for the centre.  The work that they do, to assess what is needed and to plan to make things even better, is satisfactory.  We think that when the local authority gave the governing body of the school the day-to-day responsibility for the running of the centre, it should also have given them advice and training on how to do this in an easy yet effective way.  We have asked the local authority to arrange for this now.  We have also asked the local authority to ensure that the centre gets better information about all of those in the area who would benefit from its work.  This will help the centre in its planning.  We have asked the centre to measure the effect of its work, particularly with regard to the vulnerable families in the area.  This way we believe the centre managers will know which of the services are very effective and if any are less so.  It will help leaders to work out which things are most cost-effective and which services could be improved.

The range of services and activities that the centre plans for you and your children is satisfactory.  The centre helps you in many ways, by giving you advice on where to go to resolve any problems you have.  We know the staff have given advice to you on a range of things, such as how to make your homes safer.  Safety and safeguarding are good at the centre.  This is because everyone puts the safety of you and your children high on their agenda.  We know that some of you, including some of you who spoke with us, already contribute to decision making at the centre through the parents' forum and the advisory board.

The centre plans for improvement using a system based on a computer programme.  It is not easy for groups of people to be involved in this and it relies on the centre manager typing in all data suggestions.  The system is not easily printable and so difficult for a group, such as the governing body or the advisory board, to work on together.  The targets for improvement are not presented in a way that allows everyone to measure how well things are improving, so we have asked the centre to try to improve this."

The full report is availabe on the Ofsted website: www.ofsted.gov.uk







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