Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Ofsted has awarded North East Lincolnshire Council’s children’s services as ‘Good’, making the authority one of only four other councils in the country with the highest levels of deprivation to achieve the rating.
Inspectors praised the progress made in the local authority since the last full inspection in 2012, acknowledging how services better identified children’s needs, as well as the joint support delivered via child in need and child protection arrangements.
The council was also found to have been successful in working with multi-agency partners to target early interventions and prevention was emphasised as particularly benefiting those in the most deprived areas.
The Ofsted report stated: “Outcomes for children in care are positive, and placement stability continues to improve. Children are placed in stable and secure alternative homes as quickly as possible. Adoption performance is good and improving with many strong aspects.”
Ros James, portfolio holder for children and young people, said: “The council has achieved this landmark judgement through a commitment to service improvement and putting the child at the heart of service delivery. We are pleased with the outcome of the report, and that Ofsted has recognised the huge amount of work the authority has progressed in the last few years,” she continued. “The service has changed significantly with a more stable workforce and good relationships with those in our care.
“Credit must go to the staff in the service for embracing the changes, and for closer working with all our partners. Many people work together to help children and young people to achieve their goals and stay safe, including family support workers, social workers, health workers, the police and youth workers, and together, we deliver the quality service deserved by some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. There is always more to be done, but we’ve made significant steps in the right direction.”