The Chatham Salvation Army Corps provides two Parent and Toddler groups to meet the needs of parents with children from 0-5 years of age. Both groups are recognised as offering a contact for parents to the services and activities of the corps. Invitations are given to parents to attend other appropriate corps activities at any time.
Left: Christmas Party – Right: Having fun
Our aim is to provide a caring and relaxed Christian environment which will offer support and will enable friendships to develop for both parents and children. The groups also aim to provide experiences and socialisation skills to prepare children for future education. A further aim is to share parenting experiences to help each other gain knowledge and confidence in the responsibility of parenthood.
The groups welcome, accept and value all people irrespective of colour, race or culture in an attitude of understanding, while exploring and supporting similarities and differences that we share.
The two groups are:
Mummy and Me
Mummy and Me is primarily for parents with first babies, although siblings born before the first child is 2 are able to attend. The group meets each Friday from 10am â€“ 12noon except during the main school holidays.
mainly music is for parents with children up to 5 years and is an internationally recognised programme with its headquarters in Melbourne, Australia. The group meets each Monday during school terms from 10am -12noon
About mainly music:
- Young children and their caregivers enjoying music, rhyme, rhythm, creative dance and more
- Preschool children developing skills – co-ordination, fine motor movements, large motor movements, social interaction, appreciation of music and musical styles, language development
- Providing children with a structured environment and then a time of free play
- Bringing adult and child together for a time of safe interaction, and in doing so, teaching adults rhymes and songs that can be used at home to help with cleaning up, colours, counting, and more
- An opportunity for parents to network with other parents of preschool children
In short, mainly music is an opportunity for adults and children to build memories and spend time together, sharing special time with each other
The aim of mainly music is to provide an environment where preschool children develop skills to enhance their preschool education, through the use of music, rhythm, rhyme, and other music related activities with the participation of a parent or primary caregiver
Each week, parents and caregivers bring their children for a thirty minute session of music, rhyme, movement, listening and more. The adults must participate in the session, and in fact, it is vital that they do so, because this encourages the children to enter into the actions and singing.
Following this session, adults and children are given refreshments. This allows time for children to enjoy each other’s company, and to develop social skills. It also allows those adults who don t have a wide circle of friends to be introduced to others who have preschoolers and they are therefore able to learn from each other
The staff of both groups are members of the corps, have been CRB checked and have attended the Salvation Army’s Safe and Sound training course dealing with child protection issues.
Following the recent retirement of Verna Smith, Sue Willard has assumed responsibility for the running of both groups and is a retired Teacher.
Sue is assisted by Alma Brown, Irene Maycock, Gill Wylie, Rae Edwards and Patti Meers who are delighted to be part of this friendly team.
Clockwise: Patti, Irene, Gill, Marjory, Rae and Alma
Each group provides suitable toys and activities appropriate for the ages of the children. Birthdays are celebrated and other special occasions recognised. Christmas is a very exciting time with the children dressing up as Nativity characters for their Carol services which are followed by a visit from Father Christmas and a party.
We also try to develop an awareness of the needs of others by holding fund raising activities twice a year and have been able to send contributions to Barnados, Demelza House, the Special Care Baby Unit at Medway Maritime Hospital, Kings College Hospital, Foot Doctors in China, The Haven Children s Home in India and Macmillan Cancer Support. We are always keen to hear of other needs we can support in the future.
The Parenting Courses comprise seven weekly sessions offering effective parenting support to parents of children from birth to six years of age and are run according to demand.
We are always very happy to welcome new parents and toddlers to our groups and to receive enquiries for the parenting courses. Contact us for further information