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Handover takes place on new children’s centre

9 February 2010

Nene Infants and Nursery School

Handover has taken place on the new £1.2m Children's Centre at Nene Infants and Nursery School in Cambridgeshire.

The Centre, which was designed by Capita Architecture’s Cambridge studio, comprises:

  • Early years provision (integrated childcare and early learning);
  • A child minders’ network;
  • Parenting education and family support services;
  • Education, training and employment services, including links with Jobcentre;
  • Child and family health services;
  • Support and outreach to parents/carers and children in need.

Children’s Centres are central to the Government’s ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda (the expectation is that there will be a centre in every community by 2010). The Centres aim to improve outcomes for all young children and reduce inequalities for those growing up in disadvantaged families.

The Nene Children’s Centre occupies a high profile on the site whilst operating independently from the school, allowing children to develop the skills they need before joining mainstream education. Nevertheless, the design, adjacent the existing classrooms, is such that pre-school children attending the Centre will progress seamlessly through to reception classes within a familiar school context. The form of the building also provides a clean, contemporary space to welcome young patents and families.

The Centre features a number of sustainable measures with particular attention being paid to the materials and finishes including their production techniques, insulation properties, lifespan, and disposal. The building is designed to achieve high standards of natural ventilation and light using cross ventilation and stack effect combined with highly efficient underfloor heating served by a single condensing boiler.

Lighting controls include a mixture of PIR, daylight sensors and photocells while spray nozzle taps reduce water consumption. The mechanical and electrical installations focus on high efficiency, low energy delivery, fully controlled to provide the end user with maximum flexibility in use.