Newsletter January 2011

Newsletter January 2011
Dear All
Since our last newsletter we have seen our local Sure Start Children’s Centres grow from strength to strength, with
particular highlights being –
•The official handover of Abbotts Langley and Shenley Village Children’s Centres.
•Being able to report that we have over 3436 children now registered and accessing services across our 10 Children’s
Centre areas.
•The start of the building works of the long awaited Bushey Children’s Centres, The Reddings, which will be on the site on
Bushey Meads School and Bushey Mill Children’s Centre which is part of the rebuild of Highwood Primary School.
•And also the building works have started at the Furzefield Centre and we hope to be able to begin to use the Furzefield
Children’s Centre early in the New Year.
The last few months have also been a time of challenge, we, with so many other service providers, have anxiously been
waiting to understand how the Government’s recent Comprehensive Spending Review will impact on the service we offer.
It does appear that the Government are committed to the continuation of Sure Start, however, we still are waiting on
receiving details of our future funding.
Even in this time of uncertainty we have remained positive and proactive. We have been working hard to ensure that
the services we offer are high quality, cost effective and making a difference to local children. As part of this work
we have been encouraging local parents and carers to give their views, we would like to say a big thank you to so many
parents and carers who have taken the time to give us feedback either through informal chats with staff, evaluation
questionnaires, sitting on our various Advisory Boards or through volunteering at the Centres, all these contributions have
been invaluable.
Liz Applin,
Children’s Centre Director
Peppa Pig attends the opening of Abbots Langley Children’s Centre
Peppa Pig visited Abbots Langley on Friday 22nd October to help local children and their families celebrate the opening of
the new Abbots Langley Children’s Centre and Breakspeare Community Pre School.
The new building in School Mead opened its doors on Friday afternoon and a hundred or so families turned up to see the
new building and to have their photos taken with Peppa Pig. The opening ceremony was marked by Councillor Ron Spellen,
Chairman of Three Rivers District, making a speech and introducing Phil Collins, Chief Executive of Hertsmere Leisure.
Councillor Spellen said: ‘It is a pleasure to see so many of you here today and I am sure you will appreciate the hard work
put in by staff to make the day such a success. This is a welcome addition to Abbots Langley’.
The ribbon was cut by little Sophie Miller who regularly attends the Children’s Centre.
To contact Hertsmere Leisure’s Children’s Centres head office
please ring: 020 8386 4038
Hertsmere Leisure is a registered charity. Charity no: 1093653
Councillor Jane Pitman, Lead Children’s Services; Sophie Miller, Peppa
Pig, Councillor Spellen and Phil Collins
January 2011
Children at Abbots Langley Children’s Centre welcome Peppa Pig
Healthy Lifestyles in Potters Bar and South Mimms
Building Work Has Begun In Bushey
The building work is now taking place at Highwood
School. We were very pleased to take part in the official
Grass Cutting on the 11th November to mark the start
of the work. Our Children’s Centre will be called Bushey
Mill Children’s Centre and will be at the front of the new
school building, this will take a year to build and will be
open for services in January 2012. We will keep you
posted on the progress and our team very much look
forward to working from there.
We have been working really hard this last term to promote Healthy Lifestyles. There are a variety of sessions running
throughout the week that support and promote Health Lifestyles for the whole family.
For children and parents we run two physical activity sessions called ‘Sticky Kids’ and ‘Move It’. These sessions are
designed to develop children’s physical skills and provide parents and carers with a pretty good workout too!!
Madelieine Honour
Bushey and Radlett Children’s Centres
First Aid sessions are on offer through the Children’s Centre and parents / carers will learn about resuscitation and how to
manage emergency situations. These sessions are really popular and we have had great feedback. If you wish to book onto a
First Aid course contact your local Children’s Centre.
Since October half term we are delighted to have been offering a ‘Post Natal Toning’ class in partnership with the Furzefield
Centre. The uptake for this class has been really positive and we have received some fantastic comments from the ladies that
have been accessing the course so far. If you live in Potters Bar or South Mimms and would like to book a place on this class
please contact PB1 Children’s Centre on 01707 658 547.
Hertsmere Leisure is now offering a lifestyle management programme free of charge to residents of Hertsmere who want to
make a change to their lives. Funded by Hertsmere Together the programme is run over 12 weeks, each programme is
designed to look at the individual’s lifestyle and identify where changes can be made. Participants will receive one to one
sessions with an instructor, will be given the opportunity to try out a variety of activities at their Local Leisure Centre free of
charge and everyone who completes the programme will be rewarded with one month’s FREE membership. If you are
interested please contact [email protected]
Toy Library Transport Timetable
Spring 2011
y Library
Davina Wilson
Potters Bar and South Mimms Children’s Centres
Children’s Centres
Hertsmere Leisure
Children’s Centres
Ages and Stages Group In Bushey
Ages and Stages is a growing group which meets every
Tuesday at St James Church, Bushey, between 1 pm – 3
pm. The group enables parents to drop in and discuss
the various challenges parenting can bring. It is an
informal group where parents can support each other
and share ideas and information over a nice cup of tea
while their children play happily in the crèche. Parents
are supported by our Children’s Centre Staff covering
subjects on behaviour, routines, play and home safety.
(limited spaces available in the crèche, please ring the
booking line on 020 8421 7140 or 020 8421 7113)
Madelieine Honour
Bushey and Radlett Children’s Centres
10:00 – 10.45
Park Street Village Hall
Olivers Close
Park Street
St Albans
Dates:10 Jan – 4 April
(not 21st February)
9:30 -12:00
Shakespeare Drive
All year
9:30 – 11:00
Chace Ave
Potters Bar
Dates: 12 Jan – 6 April
(not 23rd February)
10:00 – 11:30
Furzefield Children’s
Mutton Lane
Potters Bar
Dates: 3 March - 7
(not 24th February)
9:30 – 10:15
Abbots Langley Community Centre
Manor House Grounds
Abbots Langley
Dates: 14 Jan – 8 April
(not 25th February)
1:30 – 2:30
The Venue
Elstree Way
Dates:11 Jan – 5 April
(not 21st February)
1:30 – 2:30
First Place Nursery
Falconer Road
WD23 3AQ
Dates: 12 Jan – 6 April
(not 23rd February)
1:15 – 2:00
Radlett Library
Aldenham Avenue
Dates:13 Jan – 7 April
(not 24th February)
11.00 – 12.00
Shenley Chapel
Radlett Lane
Dates: 14 Jan – 1 April
(not 25th February)
“ 11:00 – 12:00
The Hartspring Community Centre
Hartspring Lane
WD23 2BJ
Dates:10 Jan – 4 April
(not 21st February)
Abbots Langley and Park Street & St
Stephens Children’s Centres Team News
On 21st September our very first Children’s Centre baby
was born! Little Harry arrived and made Sam Glynn of the
Abbots Langley & Park Street team a very proud mum. Sam
is currently on maternity leave enjoying every second of
being a new mum and the team have welcomed Tina Miller
to the team, who is covering for Sam.
Meet Our Staff At The Market Stall In Borehamwood
Visit the Children’s Centre stall at the Market on Shenley
Road, Borehamwood every Tuesday morning from
January 2011. Come and have a chat with our friendly
staff and see what the Children’s Centre has on offer for
families with children aged 0 – 5 years. There are a range
of exciting FREE fun activities and workshops families
can easily access. Staff are on hand to offer advice,
support and signpost families if needed. All you have to
do is register with the Children’s Centre and you will
open up a whole new world for you and your family to
explore together.
Boards in Schools
In the last two years the Children’s Centre has built up
strong links with our local pre-schools and schools in the
Borehamwood, Elstree and Shenley areas. Our latest
project has been to have our own Children’s Centre
Promotional Boards in settings. Almost every pre-school
and school in the local area has given the thumbs up to
this idea and we are now thrilled to be able to promote and
inform parents/carers and their children what the Children’s
Centre has on offer . Boards will be updated on a half
termly basis to keep families informed of new
developments, activities, workshops etc…Keep your eyes
peeled and see if you can spot our new boards!
Helping Children Enjoy and Achieve
One of our biggest achievements in the Autumn term has been the strong links we have made and are continuing to
make with our schools and pre-schools in the Borehamwood and Shenley areas.
The Borehamwood/Shenley Team have been
busy this term working closely with individual
schools and providing a tailored service for
parents/carers and their children to support their
children’s learning and development.
Parents/carers and their children from Parkside
Primary School in Borehamwood have been
getting messy and having lots of fun in our
Creative Play sessions on Thursday afternoons.
Children and their parents/carers have enjoyed
exploring different materials and using household objects to create wonderful pieces of Art.
The children from St Nicholas Primary School in
Elstree have been enjoying learning new songs
and listening to new Stories at our Fun with
Stories sessions on Tuesday afternoons. In
addition, they have been using their practical
skills producing pictures, making sandwiches
and creating musical instruments.
In the Spring term we are looking forward to
a Sticky Kids, music and movement, session
which will take place at Saffron Green Primary
School on Wednesdays.
Susie Scutt
Team Leader for Borehamwood, Elstree and Shenley
Children’s Centres
Rospa’s Safe at Home Scheme with Hertsmere Leisure
Did you know that the majority of injuries to children under 5 happen at home?
For babies and young children, the family home is their world. As they grow it becomes a big world of discovery with new
experiences waiting around every corner. This is how they learn – but all too often this can lead to serious injury in the place
where they should be safest of all.
The startling fact is that the overwhelming majority of injuries to children under
five happen at home. From scalds and burns to bumps, falls and accidental
poisoning – the list goes on and on. You don’t want to wrap them in cotton wool,
but just what can you do to keep them safe in the home?
If you live in Hertsmere and are unemployed or on low income and in receipt of
benefits and have an under 5 year old in the house, then we can offer to come
and do a free home safety check and supply and fit some home safety
equipment that could include: Safety Gates, Window Restrictors, Non-slip
bath or shower mat, Fireguard, Cupboard locks and Corner Cushions
For more information contact The BECC Children’s Centre on 020 8386 4038.
This session is to enable children the opportunity to develop
their concentration, listening, spatial awareness and balancing
skills whilst ‘playing’ and having fun with their parents/carers.
The Children’s Centre foster an active learning environment
and promote parents as children’s first teachers from informal
learning through opportunities to accredited learning. Through
offering parents/carers the opportunity of attending a range of
sessions along with their children, we hope to increase their
knowledge and understanding of their children’s development
and enable them to implement new strategies to support their
children’s learning. We hope this will result in parents/carers
feeling more effective as parents and ultimately able to enjoy the
experience of parenting fully.
Susie Scutt
Team Leader for Borehamwood,
Elstree and Shenley Council
Potters Bar and South Mimms Team
Fire Safety at Potters Bar
We have had another busy term with lots of families
accessing our services. Of the families with 0-5 year
olds 62% of children registered in Potters Bar East
and 42% of children registered in Potters Bar West
and South Mimms. We are delighted that so many
families are now attending Children’s Centre services
but would like to increase these numbers. If you
have any family or friends that aren’t currently
registered with us please bring them along to a
session to meet the team and fill out a form.
Our topic of the month for November was
‘Fire Safety’. Information is displayed at
sessions and staff are on hand to support
families further if required. As part of this
weeks focus we invited Potters Bar Fire
Service to our Play and Stay session. The
children had a great time and a big thank
you to Potters Bar Fire Service for taking
the time to come.
We are working really hard to gain families views
about the Children’s Centre services and the
community as a whole. We have introduced
‘Question of the Week’, which we are asking families
to participate in. Feedback boxes can be found at all
Children’s Centre sessions and in the foyer at PB1.
Your feedback is invaluable and helps shape future
services so please continue to provide us with your
Davina Wilson
Potters Bar and South Mimms Children’s Centres
Davina Wilson
Potters Bar and South Mimms Children’s Centres
Frequently Asked Questions
Top Ten Frequently asked questions from parents
Q) Why do sessions change or move location?
A) We evaluate all our activities and may make changes to
suit the wider community we serve, we also move location to
make sessions available to all parents/carers in different parts
of the areas.
Q) What’s the difference between Ages and Stages and
Parenting Puzzle?
A) Ages and stages is informal drop-in session where parent
can support each other through the challenges of parenthood
with children 0-5 years. Parenting Puzzle is far more
structured giving strategies to help children and parents
manage their feelings and behaviour.
Q) How much is it to attend your sessions?
A ) All our sessions are free although you need to pay a £1.00
to put your child in the Crèche
Q)Do you have any groups that support parents of children
with additional needs?
A) We will be hosting a monthly Additional Needs Support
Group at The BECC from January 2011 – times and dates to
be confirmed – for more information please contact The BECC
on 0208 386 4038.
Q) Is there a drop in session that I can come to for support
and advice?
A) Yes, we run a Parent Support Group at the BECC on a
Monday from 12.45pm – 2.45pm (term time only). There is a
crèche facility available for parents with children aged from
0-5 years (a fee of £1.00 will be charged per child).This group
gives parents a chance to meet and talk about how your child
is developing. A great opportunity for parents to get together
and have the chance to share information and give other
parents valuable tips and strategies in a relaxed and friendly
Q) What groups are available for specific ages?
A) Most sessions are for children aged 0-5 years but we do
have other groups that are targeted for specific ages such as
Baby Massage and Welcome to the World.
Q) What else do you do?
A) We run targeted groups, signpost families on to other
professionals and make links with the wide community e.g.
Pre-schools, Primary Schools, Doctors and Nurseries.
Q) How are you funded?
A) Hertsmere Leisure Children’s Centres are funded by Sure
Start and managed by Hertsmere Leisure. We do not charge
for sessions but those who wish to pay are welcome to put
money in the donation pot available at all sessions.
Q) What qualifications do your staff have/need?
A) All the Children’s Centre staff are qualified in Childcare,
Healthcare or Social Care to at least Level 3. We regularly
attend extra training, such as Safeguarding children, First Aid,
Food Hygiene and Baby Massage. All members of staff need
to enjoy working with children and families.
Q) How can I get involved with Children’s Centres?
A) There are lots of opportunities to volunteer in your local
Children’s Centre. Also you may be interested in attending
your Advisory Board.
How can parents/carers help children to love learning?
To a young child every experience is new and different. New
foods, new journeys, new friends, new songs, new stories and
a new day every day.
There are many practical things parents/carers can do to
assist a young child’s love of learning. Many learning activities
can be incorporated into everyday activities such as
helping within the home, on an outing to buy shopping, a bus
or train journey or a visit to family or friends. Encouraging
young children to join you in your daily activities provides them
with opportunities to develop their independence and learn
along the way.
“If you play with me…
“If you sing to me..
“If you read to me..
“If you talk with me…
Then I’ll know what it’s all about!”
Helping within the home allows for many learning opportunities whilst playing “grown ups”. Young children love to use
their imagination and pretend to be the adult. When sorting
clothes for washing, you can help your child sort clothes by
colour, size, type and fabric providing many opportunities to
extend their skills.
When shopping with your child, if they are able, let them have their own basket to collect items. Again they can sort products
– would they like to choose a red or green apple, small potatoes or large potatoes, the long bread stick or round bread rolls.
A bus or train journey allows young children to look out of the window and see the world about them. Different buildings,
bridges, cars, lorries, animals, fields, different trees and so much more. Sometimes a bus journey from home to the shops
provides children with an awareness of their wider environment.
A visit to family or friends can provide opportunities to develop positive relationships with others, a sense of belonging,
exploring feelings and sharing. Sharing food, sharing toys, sharing books, sharing new experiences every day.
Lydia Christensen
Qualified Teacher