History of the Children's Centre
South Acton Children’s Centre has been through several stages of development.
The South Acton Estate was fortunate to have been served by Hanbury Nursery Centre and Heathfield Nursery School since the 1970s and they amalgamated in 2002 to become a Government recognised Early Excellence Centre.
Sure Start grew out of the recognition that deprivation was damaging the lives of too many children and families in disadvantaged areas. It was established in 1997, and within two years the first Sure Start Local Programmes were set up. Their remit was to bring together early education, childcare, health and family support for the benefit of young children under the age of five and their parents. In 2001 the local Sure Start Acton programme was established when a small team was set up alongside local parents and carers working in partnership with statutory and voluntary professionals and organisations.
In 2003 it was decided to join Hanbury and Heathfield physically by assembling a light and airy structure which also accommodates a welcoming, information filled reception, a training room and meeting rooms.
In 2005 the building work was completed and the Early Excellence Centre was then recognised as a Phase 1 Children’s Centre. The Sure Start Acton team moved in and became our Family and Community Team and Hanbury and Heathfield became the Under and Over 3s sections of the centre.
In March 2006 South Acton Children’s Centre was formally opened by Professor Lord Robert Winston who said “The staff here are doing an exemplary and immensely important job. You are contributing to people who you will never see growing up, but scientific data tells us that you will have changed their lives for the better. For those of us that come here to visit, we come here very humbled. Our society does not fully value and support the next generation and what we have here are the most important people in our society.”
In 2013 SACC became the lead Children’s Centre in the Acton Locality and is now responsible for coordinating the services of all 5 centres – South Acton, Maples, John Perryn and ActonPark and West Twyford .
In 2016 The London Borough of Ealing formed a new service called Early Start Ealing, bringing together staff from children’s centres, early years and health visiting , who now sit alongside our staff at South Acton. The service is aimed at pregnant mums, babies and children up to the age of five; and will focus on health and wellbeing, speech and language development and early learning.