You are here: News Boscombe Children's Centre receives UK’s first ever Families First Award

14 August 2013

By Rebecca Griffin

Boscombe Children’s Centre is the first in the UK to complete the Families First Quality Award which recognises Sure Start children’s centres’ excellence in providing information, advice and assistance to local families.

The Families First Quality Award, developed by the National Association of Families Information Services (NAFIS) and coordinated by UK charity, the Family and Childcare Trust, aims to exceed the requirements set out in the Childcare Act 2006 which places a duty on local authorities to provide parents with information and advice about family services and childcare, including for children with additional needs.
Children’s Centre manager, Lynn Bourne, said: 

“Boscombe Children’s Centre is delighted to have become the first centre in the UK to be recognised under the Families First Quality Award. Our staff were interviewed about their work with families, presented case studies and provided evidence of the quality of information given to parents. A range of services were also observed and parents were invited to give their feedback to assessors on the quality of support they receive from the children’s centre staff.” “For many children’s centres, it is a challenging time as they are being asked to work more efficiently while still delivering excellent outcomes. Families who attend a Sure Start centre with the Family First Quality Award can be confident that its services are designed to meet their needs" “The award also gives children’s centres the recognition they deserve and functions as an effective quality improvement tool, giving staff the confidence they need to provide an excellent service to all families in their local area.”

Families First assessors evaluate children’s centres against 10 standards which include reaching out to marginalised and vulnerable parents, ensuring that parents can access universal early years services for their children, and working with local authorities to ensure signposting and referral to other specialised services when needed.

A photograph of the award presentation ceremony is available on request.


Contact: Mark Bou Mansour, Communications and Campaigns Manager. Telephone: 0207 940 7535, mobile: 07538 334 772, email:

Anita Abram, NAFIS, Tel: 01473 264680 or email:

Lynne Bourne, Boscombe Children’s Centre, Tel: 01202 395534 or email:

Notes to Editor:​

The Families First Quality Award

The Families First quality standards were originally developed in 2008 with the Department for Education for Local Authority Family Information services. More recently Sure Start children’s centres approached NAFIS to request a set of standards to specifically reflect their work with families, which were then developed by NAFIS and Suffolk County Council’s Family Information Service. There are 10 standards that all centres must achieve and two additional standards – one for Wales, and another undertaken by groups of centres commissioned by their local authority.

About National Association of Family Information Services (NAFIS)

NAFIS is coordinated by UK charity, the Family and Childcare Trust. It supports, links, and promotes Family Information Services (FIS) across England, Wales and Scotland. NAFIS is advised by a steering group which represents its 140 members.

About the Family and Childcare Trust

The Family and Childcare Trust aims to make the UK a better place for families. We are a leading national family charity in the field of policy, research and advocacy on childcare and family issues, with over 40 years’ experience. Our on-the-ground work with parents and providers informs our research and campaigns. We focus on the early years and childcare because they are crucial to boosting children’s outcomes throughout life and supporting parents to work.