Local breakfast and after school club turns 20

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A local breakfast and after school club serving one of the town’s primary schools has celebrated it’s 20th birthday.

St Joseph's After School Club opened its doors in 2004, following a demand for the need for wrap around care for working parents.

Originally caring for a small handful of children each day, the club has built up over the years and is now getting ready to increase numbers to the highest they have been. They have a dedicated Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator, and Early Years Co-Ordinator.

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The Breakfast Club was established in 2014 to accommodate the further need for before school care.

Celebrations! From left to right: Ali Kolić, Jess Peacher and Jane JamesCelebrations! From left to right: Ali Kolić, Jess Peacher and Jane James
Celebrations! From left to right: Ali Kolić, Jess Peacher and Jane James

Club Manager Jess Peacher, who has worked at the club for 8.5 years, and been registered manager for the last 5, said: "We are so lucky to still be caring for the families of St Joseph's Academy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to shut our doors and at one point we weren't sure if the club would survive. Now, 4 years later, we are busier than ever with a waiting list going into the 2025/26 academic year. This September we are increasing our numbers too. As a small team of 4 staff we aim to provide a continuity of care, a home from home environment and plenty of enriching opportunities for the children in our care. We have seen many, many families through our doors and the need for working parents to have such a club available means that they can continue their careers and feel reassured that their children are in the best hands".

The Club passed its last OFSTED in inspection in 2023, with flying colours and 'outstanding qualities' Jess added: "In 2022, OFSTED changed the framework for inspections and wrap around care can no longer be judged on outstanding, good, or requires improvement, only 'met' or 'not met'. Our inspector was so pleased with us and didn't have any further recommendations. This was an amazing feeling".

The Club is run on a non-for-profit basis, with committee members volunteering their time to help lead the organisation. 4 staff are employed. They exclusively serve the families whose children attend St Joseph's Catholic Voluntary Academy. It is based within the Church rooms and is open from 7:30am until 6pm, Monday to Friday.

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