The Chatham Salvation Army Corps provides two Parent and Toddler groups to meet the needs of parents with children from 0-4 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.
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 staff looking after both groups are members of the corps, have been DBS checked and have attended the Salvation Army’s Safe and Sound training course dealing with child protection issues. Sue Willard, a retired teacher, is currently leader of both groups.
Sue is assisted by Alma Brown, Irene Maycock, Gill Wylie, Rae Edwards, Lesley Bell, Norma Burdett and Patti Meers who are delighted to be part of this friendly team.
L to R: Patti, Irene, Gill, Alma, Rae, Lesley, Norma
Each group provides suitable toys and activities appropriate for the ages of the children. Birthdays are celebrated and other special occasions recognised. The groups hold a Christmas party each year, with a retelling of the Nativity story and a visit from Father Christmas. Easter and Mothering Sunday are also celebrated.
The two groups are:
Mummy and Me
Mummy and Me meets each Friday from 10am to 12noon, except during the main school holidays. Each session starts with tea and toast, followed by a short time of interactive songs and rhymes. Children then have a chance to play while their parents and caregivers chat with one another and form support networks. Simple craft activities are also provided and parents/caregivers encouraged to get involved.
mainly music is for parents with children up to 4 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
Each week, parents and caregivers bring their children for a thirty- minute session of music, rhyme, movement, listening and more. Accompanying adults are required to participate in the session, modelling actions and encouraging their children to join in with songs and movement.
Following the music 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 form relationships with other parents and caregivers.
We welcome enquiries from newcomers wishing to attend our parent and toddler groups, but please be advised that we sometimes have to operate a waiting list when either group is oversubscribed. Enquiries can be made via this website (Contact us)