24 Feb Positive comments and constructive criticism from the Parents’ Survey
Every year Islington Council asks people who use Children’s Centres to complete a short survey to share their comments. Your responses are always really important to us and help the council understand how satisfied parents are with the services we provide and where we need to improve.
Last year Ambler received the most responses of any Centre in the borough, so we’d like to thank anyone who took the time to provide us with this valuable feedback. Please see below for some direct quotes from our families on a range of services provided here at the Children’s Centre.
If you’d like to know more about any of the activities or services mentioned please just speak to any member of staff or call the admin office on 02073597628.
- General Comments
“Ambler is a warm and friendly environment, caring and thoughtful to individual needs, [which] serves their community well.”
“The staff at the Children’s Centre are always helpful and give me the time that is required for any assistance. Staff are doing a great job on a day-to-day basis.”
“Ambler is a great place for parents to come to their Outreach services. It’s the heart and soul of the community.”
- Daycare and Early Education
“I’m very impressed by the lovely warm, caring and fun environment at Ambler nursery, where my son is. There are so many activities and toys to keep the children occupied, and they are able to choose what to go and do. Despite being there for 5 full days a week, he never gets bored, and he has made some good friends.”
“[I] love the planning of everyday activities and the quality of care my child receives here has made her more confident in herself as a toddler.”
“The staff in Baby Room [have] really supported me and my child. They are the best – brilliant.”
- Outreach Services
“The Children’s Centre has provided me and my daughter with excellent services – breastfeeding advice and health visitor services close to home, plenty of time for personalised advice during the New Parents Group sessions, great activities to get us out of the house and socialising with other parents and children, and many activities that my daughter really enjoys i.e. the baby massage, baby yoga, ‘sing and sign’ and tiny tots Stay and Play.”
- Stay and Play
“We used to go to other Children’s Centres for Stay and Play. I found Ambler is much, much [more] enjoyable. This is because Ambler do different activities each week and the staff who are working there are very friendly, making each day very interesting and enjoyable. My daughter learnt a lot by going there within [a]very short time.”
“The ‘sing and sign’ sessions are excellent. Convenient times of day, engaging session leaders, friendly environment. And my daughter loves it!”
- Yoga and Aerobics
“Yoga class [is a] great support/stress reliever as the main carer of a disabled child with learning and language difficulties
“The crèche is amazing. The team are brilliant, the babies love it and it offers much needed support for those without family nearby.”
- Services for Babies
“New Parents Group on Mondays is really good – babies get lots of interaction and stimulation, good way to meet local mums and good balance of structured discussion topics and time for questions/concerns/chat.”
“I did the Baby Massage class with [Staff member]. It’s a fantastic service and [she] was amazing as a teacher! She totally understood us and was calm, relaxed and friendly. I learnt so much and have recommended the course to a lot of my friends who all feel the same.”
“The breastfeeding group offered excellent support; they identified my baby’s tongue tie and referred her to a tongue tie clinic. Baby started breastfeeding normally as soon as tongue tie was resolved.”
“Midwives are very helpful and caring, understanding.”
- Family Support
“Family support at Ambler has been invaluable. It was a ‘light’ to help us out of darkness. We are so grateful for this support.”
“Because we came from another country, there were so many things we felt ‘lost’ about! We were lucky to get a [Family Support Worker] that speaks our language and understood our varied needs, supported our child but also our learning and offered guidance, support and info in a way that empowered us and helped us get on our feet again.”
“Incredible Years help[ed] me to meet other parents and most importantly to understand and better help with my son’s development positively.”
Of course, we know that there are always things that the Children’s Centre can improve on too, so we welcome any constructive criticism. Please see below for some direct quotes from our families on a range of areas they are dissatisfied with and what we are doing in response. If you’d like to suggest any further issues we should be resolving please fill out a ‘Feedback Form,’ which is available from the admin office.
- Notification of Events and Activities
YOU SAID: “A longer notice period is required for special events e.g. we were informed about an event taking place on a Thursday on the Monday which is too short notice for working parents to attend.”
WE DID: We are determined to give our families as much notice as possible about our various events, workshops and activities. We appreciate everyone has busy lives and want to make sure that families can attend services they are interested in, which certainly requires advance notice. Such events have always been advertised in our regular ‘Newsletters’ and on posters around the Centre. We now also advertise them separately in the ‘News’ section of our website, increasingly text out information to families and have introduced our ‘Get Involved’ and ‘Children’s Centre Information’ display boards in the foyer.
- Website and Information
YOU SAID: “Website has basic info about location and hours [and it] would be helpful to have more description of the different services in time tables.”
WE DID: We’ve now launched this improved standalone website which provides much more information than our previous one. It has a calendar which families can subscribe to so they never miss an event and a map showing exactly where the Centre is located. We’ve also updated our information on the Islington Council website, which the above comment is referring to, giving more details of our services and activities.
- Play Equipment
YOU SAID: “Wider variety of toys”
WE DID: We have heavily invested in new toys and equipment over recent months and always place the need for interesting, educational activities at the heart of our philosophy. For example, Friends of Ambler have been kind enough to provide some funds to help us develop a ‘Sensory Room.’ It will be available to Babies, Toddlers and Nursery children, as well as Reception children who have SEN, and features rotating projector balls, mini fibre optic lamps and infinity mirrors. We have also revamped both our Nursery classes in recent months, buying good-quality wooden role play furniture.
- Outings and Visits
YOU SAID: “It would be great if the kids could go on activities outside the nursery – up to the library, local events or plays / aquarium / playgrounds.”
WE DID: The number of trips we’ve taken the children on has dropped recently, mainly due to staffing issues as we would have struggled to provide a suitable number of supervising adults. However, our ‘Outings/Visits Procedures’ have been reviewed since the Parents’ Survey and the previous requirement for an extremely high number of staff to children (1 to 2) has been relaxed somewhat. All standard ratios will still be adhered to and will usually be exceeded, according to circumstance. This depends on the children’s age, sensibility and type of venue, as well as how it is to be reached. In practice this means we will be able to go on more outings, and we’ve already discussed potential destinations in our staff meeting.