Early Years Alliance have worked hard to provide lots of FREE useful information for parents via their Family Corner website.
One example, Family Time Tips – is an innovative new digital service for families and is FREE to join! It offers fun, practical tips and advice to promote children’s learning and development direct to your mobile. Daily topics include language and learning through play activities, health and wellbeing tips plus nutritional advice for you and your child.
Activities are carefully chosen to ensure they positively support a child’s development.
The service uses WhatsApp to send parents learning and development ideas direct to their mobile phone. If parents choose to sign up – using the online form – every day they are sent activity suggestions to do with their child. These will include handy hints, video clips and other ideas to encourage chatter and play. Importantly, this is not a commercial activity so parents will not receive any advertising. Parents can choose to opt-out at any time. To find out more parents can visit https://www.eyalliance.org.uk/family-time-tips-free-childrens-activities-mobile
Let’s Learn Together @Home
This is a six-week programme, taking place in August, September and October – with courses starting each week. The course offers a personal approach to family learning and helps parents better understand how children like to learn whilst also providing an opportunity to meet and connect with other families online.
The sessions focus on two different age groups — 0-2yrs and 3-5yrs. The courses are free of charge thanks to funding by the Department of Education. To register online visit https://www.eyalliance.org.uk/lets-learn-together-home
For parents who don’t wish to do a course,, the Family Corner website also provides links to Family Corner YouTube clips by an early years professional discussing topics such as:-
- how to prepare children for key transitions,
- understanding and managing behaviour,
- positive interactions for building brain development
- building important life skills through play
- family meditation session
Back in July we were thrilled to launch a new project as part of our continuing work around Talking Takes Off – and it is not too late to join!
Children are invited to send us, via a parent/carer or through their nursery, childminder, school or community group a piece of their work to be collated into an e-book as part of a Places and Dreams Project.
What is the theme?
- Places I know
- Things I dream of doing again
You might like to draw a picture of you and your family eating an ice cream at the park or write a poem about something you can see from your window.
What can I submit?
We welcome all kinds of work; let your imagination go wild! Think about a short story, poem, rhyme, comic strip, cartoon, picture or drawing.
It can be completed on your laptop, computer or tablet and emailed to Flying Start. Work can also be scanned and then emailed or just pop it in the post to the office!
When is the deadline for submissions?
Friday 6th November 2020 at midday
How do I find out more and where do I send my piece of work?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and to receive an entry form
As part of world breastfeeding week, which took place on the 1 to 7 August this year, we celebrated one year since the launch of our #FreetoFeed campaign. FreeToFeed is a Bedfordshire wide campaign that aims to normalise breastfeeding in public and help mothers feel supported when out and about.
In the last year 122 businesses across Bedfordshire, including The Mall shopping centre, Luton airport, Luton Town Football Club and Whipsnade Zoo, have supported #Freetofeed , displaying welcome stickers at their venues and committing to making their venues breastfeeding friendly. The full list of businesses is available here: https://www.cambscommunityservices.nhs.uk/FreeToFeed/partners
The breastfeeding Hub App is available to download free and provides information and support on breastfeeding including a map of breastfeeding friendly places in the local area. Mothers can rate and review places to help other mothers know what to expect.
The first birthday of #Freetofeed was marked with another video, bringing together mums who have supported our campaign talking about their breastfeeding journeys. The video is available here: https://www.facebook.com/LutonCommNHS/videos/vb.1130923887005529/345571789793999/?type=2&theater
We would like to thank all of the mothers and businesses that have supported the campaign over the last year.
Covid 19 has posed a huge challenge to our services and the support that mothers receive; despite this, our breastfeeding rates have shown a sustained increase with 66% of mother’s breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks. This is significantly higher than the national average, which is below 50%. A huge thank you to all of the staff that have continued to support mothers with breastfeeding throughout lockdown. Lockdown has allowed mothers the time to establish breastfeeding in the comfort of their home and has highlighted the need for the campaign to ensure mothers continue to feel Free to feed anytime and anywhere.
Please continue to promote #FreeToFeed. For more information contact Louise.email@example.com or visit https://www.cambscommunityservices.nhs.uk/FreeToFeed
The last time I wrote an update for the newsletter was in April when we were in lockdown and just beginning to understand the impact of Covid19 on all our lives. It feels like a lot has changed since those early days. We have got used to new ways of doing things including holding meeting via Skype, Zoom or MS Teams and working from our kitchens/dining rooms/bedrooms.
Our staff have been remarkable, many rapidly learning new IT and social media broadcasting skills, while thinking of innovative ways in which to provide a comprehensive range of activities and support for children and their carers. We have continued to offer support to parents online, by telephone, via Facebook and video-conferencing.
· Family Workers have been making regular phone calls to all families they were working with before lockdown to check on their welfare, offer emotional and practical support and sign-post them to other relevant agencies.
· Support workers have been phoning regular users of the children’s centres on a daily or weekly basis to check on their welfare, offer emotional and practical support and sign-post them to other relevant agencies.
· Family Workers have supported colleagues in the Cambridge Community Services Health Visiting team by carrying out telephone reviews for parents with babies of 6-8 weeks old
· We have been delivering remote activities for children such as messy play ideas, storytelling, and physical exercises through Facebook. Whilst parents have been supported with advice on parenting skills, healthy eating and personal well-being. All the activities are delivered by children’s centre staff ensuring that families see and are able to engage with familiar faces and staff that they know well. This has been very popular with parents.
Due to ongoing concerns about the spread of COVID19 especially as the days become colder, we will not be resuming our large stay and play sessions or parenting groups for parents and children. But we are now looking forward to opening our four children’s centre neighbourhood bases from September. The buildings have been risk-assessed and are Covid-safe. This means that families will be able to make an appointment to visit Dallow, Beech Hill, Park Town and Limbury to pick up Healthy Start vitamins, or to speak to a member of staff face to face. We will also offer small groups for parents either face to face or via video-conferencing. Please look on the children’s centre pages of the Flying Start website for details https://www.flyingstartluton.com/childrenscentres/
We are still accepting Service Request Forms from any professional who would like us to support families with under-fives.
Our Family Workers will still be providing support, advice and guidance by phone and parents can ring us on the appropriate number or email as below
Flying Start Central: 01582 546931 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Flying Start North: 01582 546925 or email@example.com
Flying Start South: 01582 546929 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Flying Start West: 01582 546932 or email@example.com
We will continue to provide material on our Facebook pages for all families to access at a time that suits them such as home-learning ideas and activities, story times and rhyme times.
All Luton parents and carers are able to access FREE online courses at www.inourplace.co.uk using access code HATTERS and their Luton postcode. This includes four courses; antenatal, postnatal, understanding your child and understanding your teenager’s brain.
Key information for parents such as videos of our three-week Bump to Babe course can be found on the Flying Start website: https://www.flyingstartluton.com/
Luton Council has launched a public consultation about proposed changes to the Flying Start Children’s Centres and it is important for us to hear your views.
The proposal is to bring together four of the children’s services. These are; Flying Start Children’s Centres, Early Help, Fresh Start and Manor Contact Centre into one Integrated Family Resource Service.
This new service will focus on supporting children, young people and families who are facing the most complex and significant challenges and who need support the most.
If the proposals go ahead then services currently delivered by children’s centres, which you may currently refer families into, will not be available in the future. These include universal services such as ‘Stay and Play’, Take Five Café and baby massage.
Please have your say on our proposal by:
- completing the consultation online at engage.luton.gov.uk
- Requesting a hard copy of the consultation by calling 01582 546939
The consultation is open until 20 September.
There are also online Public Consultation meetings on the 7th and 8th September, which you can attend to share your views and ask questions. To book your place contact 01582 546939
No decisions have been made and we really value your views and that of your organisation, so tell us how this proposal will impact on you and families you support.