Parents can find out about free children’s activities, parenting courses, baby massages, health visiting and lots more with the arrival of Best Start Week in Croydon.
From 16-20 October, Croydon Children’s Centres will be hosting themed activities around National Baking Week and Black History Month. All are free and suitable for families with children under five. Timetables can be found here.
Also throughout the week, Best Start representatives will be manning information stalls in libraries across the borough during regular rhyme-time and story-time sessions. They will be raising awareness of the huge range of services Best Start offers all families, from pregnancy through the child’s first five years. Experts such as midwives, parenting advisors and employability experts will also be on hand during some sessions to give advice on how to access support on topics from breastfeeding to budgeting tips. In keeping with the baking theme, families will also be able to pick up recipe cards for healthy and delicious dishes. More information and timetables can be found at www.facebook.com/croydonbeststart.
Best Start is a multi-agency model providing universal services and intervention from pregnancy and throughout the child’s first five years. More information on Best Start in Croydon can be found here.
Shanna Williams, mother of Scarlett, said: “I was recommended Selhurst Children’s Centre by my health visitor during a home visit. I hadn’t heard about children’s centres before. I’m pleased it was recommended, I couldn’t believe it was free! I went to nurture group, stay and play, baby massage and baby explorers. At nurture group it’s good to see other babies of similar ages, especially for first time mums. I could talk to other mums and the staff. It’s good for information sharing.”
She added: “My daughter, Scarlett, benefited from playing with other babies, learning how to play. Scarlett seems to have learnt ‘baby etiquette’. We went on trips to places such as Littlehampton that we wouldn’t have gone to on our own.”
“Best Start is a fantastic resource for all families in Croydon. We want every baby, child and young person to be equipped with the social and emotional skills and resilience to give them the best possible life chances and help them to realise their full potential. Through Best Start we are offering parents help, advice and support in the areas that matter the most.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning