20 Years of Pelican

Pelican started life as a parent/toddler group in 1988. Two Mums (Margaret and Marita) wanted to provide a setting where other parents could meet and support each other, so they raised funds and sent out letters to firms asking for equipment. The response was very positive and Keyham Barton Parent Toddler group was formed. 

In 1989. Parents were asking about pre-school provision, as it was a bit thin on the ground, so Margaret and Marita decided to start a playgroup in the dining hall of Drake primary school. We opened on September 16th 1991. Jackie joined as the third Mum of the original trio soon after that.

Still Parents were asked for more, (sounds like Oliver Twist), such as full time nursery places, an after school/holiday club and some provision for children with special needs.

Luckily for us, the National Lottery Charities Board were giving first round grants so we applied for funding of £85,000 and set out to find suitable premises in the Keyham area. After weeks of searching we found 66 Saltash Rd, a ten-roomed house that was in pretty bad shape. It took ages to finalise the purchase, so, in the meantime an application to English Partnership was made to fund the renovation work. After 18 months of negotiation, blood, sweat and tears, the work was completed. The Centre opened on September 1st 1997.

Pelican Childrens Centre employs 18 permanent staff, and we care for up to 70 families every week. Many parents/carers have been able to return to work or access training.

There is a Early Years Professional who overseas all the aspects of the Early Years Foundation Stage for the children who attend the centre. All permenant staff are training towards relevant qualifications. Child protection is high on our agenda, we have a member of staff who supports our children, parents and staff with Child protection concerns.  We have recently become part of the CARA team which supports children in nurserys and schools. We also have a SENCO - Special needs Co-ordinator who is responsible for the care of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

Parents/carers have access to training, such as, first aid, food and hygiene, child protection and health and safety. in partnership with local training organisations and Surestart.
Working with educational providers, the Centre offers work experience for those at school and placements for students including those studying Speech and Language at the College of St. Mark and St.John, and those working towards Care related courses at City College Plymouth. Volunteers from many agencies work within the Centre.

The sensory equipment, is used by all of the children for development and relaxation.  Funding for this came from Children in Need. It is a great asset for our special needs children. We also have a selection of portable sensory equipment which can be borrowed free of charge for use at home. The whole centre is dedicated to the inclusion of children with special/additional needs and the support of their families

We are accredited by the BRISTOL STANDARD at the highest level. This is a good way to self evaluate the centre to make sure we are mainainting outstanding practice and listening to our parents views on how our centre operates. The changes we have made greatly enhance the services we offer.

The Centre was awarded a “GOOD” OFSTED report at the last inspection which was October 2017. 

We have supported many other groups in our community and across Plymouth.

Fundraising to provide “extras” still remains a full time job.