Youngsters at Sheffield Children’s Centre have gone through a proper graduation ceremony with mortar boards and gowns at the same time as its future remains in the balance.
Leading early years expert Professor Pat Broadhead gave out the certificates in recognition of their achievements as the children go on to infant schools.
Professor Broadhead, who was the first UK Early Years Champion and was Sheffield Early Years Champion before her recent resignation, said: “The centre understands the complexities of childhood, play and family life.
“For over 30 years the centre has put children and families first. Nurturing and treasuring our city’s children and families is a golden thread running through the centre, epitomising what Sheffield was always about – as a place that has always been proud to support every child’s playful learning and family’s needs and their uniqueness.
“The centre has worked with and for families and communities in empowering and inclusive ways, innovating new approaches through child-centred and dignity-promoting ways and I know it is widely hoped that they will be enabled to continue delivering their successful services for a further 30 years.”
Centre manager Maria Hemme said: “It was an absolute honour to have Prof Broadhead coming to the centre.
“She cared enough about our children and all of the early years children in Sheffield to speak with each child and to commend them on how much they have attained through their own efforts and explorations, supported by their families and the Centre staff from their earliest of days.
“The children and families were so proud to see their achievements given such eminent recognition and we know the children will go onto build upon their attainments and interests”