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The Chestnut Centre For children and their families

News Winter 2009/10 Newsletter

Welcome to the Chestnut Centre Autumn/Winter newsletter This newsletter is an opportunity for me to introduce myself to everyone who I haven’t had a chance to speak to yet. My name is Lindy Brown and I became the Head of Centre for the Chestnut Centre on 1 June, following the departure of Kim Staff. As we have a Nursery School as part of the Children’s Centre I also have the responsibility of a Head Teacher, with Maggie Reeves as the Senior Teacher. I am also the Head of the Countess Wear Children’s Centre. The last 5 months have been very busy for me getting to know you, the staff and how the Centre runs. I hope that you will have noticed some changes around the Centre – security doors, notice boards as well as improved communication. It is important that you tell me and the other Centre staff what else you think that we can do to improve the Centre for you. A good way to do this is to join the

Parents Forum – this is an opportunity to get involved in how the Children’s Centre is run (including the Nursery) and influence the services that we provide. Simply put – the more parents get involved - the better the Centre! The next Chestnut Parents forum is on 27th November 1.30-2.30 so please come along and help us get it right for you! The staff have been working very hard this Autumn to make sure that the services are running smoothly, getting the systems in place to make sure that everyone can have the 15 hours of free early education was a real challenge and I would like to thank everyone – staff and parents for all their patience while we get used to this new way of working. We have also had some fun..... The Fun Day on 15th July was a huge success with over 60 families attending and lots of laughter. I would like to thank Jo Benney for doing a survey with all the parents asking what you liked, what could be better and

what you would change......this has been really useful in helping us think about what we could do differently. We have also held a great Harvest Week which involved lots of different activities throughout the Nursery and Centre – there were a lot of vegetables and delicious soups and the most spectacular Harvest Loaf from Sally I have ever seen. We also held a Breast Cancer Awareness fund raising day and I can honestly say that I have never ever seen so much pink in all my life! As I write this we are putting the final touches in place for our Halloween Party and preparing for Christmas with plans for a party, carol singing and of course Santa! I want to thank everyone for making me feel so welcome and I am sure that I will continue to enjoy working at the Chestnut Centre for a very long time to come. Best wishes Lindy

The Chestnut Centre Autumn/Winter newsletter 2009/2010

Nursery News Extended Entitlement. We now have our Flexible Free Entitlement for Nursery children extended from 12 and a half hours to 15 hours per week! Thank you for your patience while we all settle in to the new structure of the Nursery day - we know that there are lots of changes but we are doing everything we can to give your child the best possible experience and to make things work for families. Healthy Lunches. Sally Moore, our trained chef, cooks beautiful healthy lunches every day from a broad range of fresh ingredients. Parents tell us that their child suddenly starts to eat foods that they would not even try at home as a result of sitting with other children and adults for lunch at Nursery. Don’t forget to join in with our Key worker Family lunches, which both parents and Grandparents are welcome to attend! Sally also supports all our seasonal events by making special treats for children, staff and parents to enjoy. We know that some of you are providing the children with their own healthy packed lunches. It is great to see that parents are observing our guidelines for healthy eating by choosing alternatives to chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks. Why not try fresh or dried fruits/raw vegetables/ salads/breadsticks as well as a sandwich? The children all enjoy these foods at Nursery snack-time. Harvest Celebrations. Thank you for contributing vegetables to Nursery and for accompanying us to the Methodist Church to see the Harvest Display. Nursery outings provide a wonderful opportunity for young

children to see the world and community around them and the children gained so much new knowledge from this experience, showing awe and wonder and using all their senses to learn. The children have been lifting, carrying and scooping out the pumpkins, and watching the sunflowers grow tall and produce thousands of seeds! Lots of learning has come from play with the produce in the shop and chopping the vegetables to make soup. Autumn and Winter. We are entering the season of colder weather and Christmas festivities. The children will be learning about the changing seasons and hibernation, darker nights, keeping warm, bonfires and fireworks, and enjoying making warming snacks and drinks. We all look forward to the Christmas activities and parties for the children - please come and tell us if you want to help! Maggie Reeves Nursery Manager

Family support service Children’s Centres are here to help all families with children up to 5 years of age. We understand the needs of families; what an important job parenting is and how difficult it can be! There are a number of ways in which we can provide support and advice to parents/carers. We can help with: • Counselling • Children’s play and learning • Children’s development (ages, stages and emotions) • Parenting courses • Managing children’s behaviour • Housing, benefits and budgeting advice • Adult learning opportunities • Domestic violence • Healthy eating information • Information and sign posting to other agencies and appropriate services We are available during group sessions and can arrange to meet with parents individually. The centre provides a programme of group sessions during term time for families with children under 5 years, and in the main school holidays we organise family play sessions and activities. These sessions are also open to primary aged siblings. If you are experiencing any complex difficulties, we can work with you on a one to one basis. A member of the team would visit you at home or meet with you at the Centre and identify with you what you and your child need, and agree how best to support you.

Christmas party The Centre’s Christmas party will be held at the Chestnut Centre on Wednesday 16th Dec 3.00 – 5.00. Details to follow on our website www.chestnut-centre. and on the notice boards at the Chestnut Centre reception.

New course at the Chestnut Centre!

Free Legal Advice drop in service, provided by local solicitors This valuable service is provided free by Tozers Solicitors. Good Legal advice is so valuable yet can be expensive so this is an excellent opportunity to

discuss your situation and get some quality advice about what to do next. Please phone 01392 255128 for more details. Child care is available.

Family Learning South West Pound provide a free course Family Learning is a training provider from Devon County Council. They run a range of courses in the Centres including looking at you and your child and your interaction with them from an early age. They also run courses to help you with your English and Maths which can lead to a qualification. For further details on courses or help with JCP or advice and guidance on Education, Training or Employment please phone 01392 255128 and ask for Albert Hainsworth.

financial advisory service

In this current economic climate it is vital to have access to good quality advice about money matters and debt. South West Pound provide free advice which can help you put your mind at rest about financial concerns. Please either pick up a leaflet at Chestnut Children’s Centre or phone us on 01392 255128 and ask to speak to Albert about a referral to the service.

Mellow Parenting is a 14 week, one day a week group designed to support families with relationship difficulties with their infants and young children. It combines personal support for parents with a video and direct work with parents and children on their own parenting problems. The group includes a shared lunch. A children’s group is provided at the Centre. Quotes from mothers who have attended this course. “Thank you - it’s helped me and I hope in the future it helps other Mums” “It’s about life, caring for others, learning how to cope with problems, trust” “Great - like I was a person in my own right again” The course is fully booked for the Autumn term but to register your interest please phone us on 01392 255128 and ask to speak to Jane McArdle

Pink Day! Tuesday 20th October welcomed our ‘pink day’ in aid of breast cancer. Sally yet again came up trumps with two trays of delightfully pink cakes. With cutting and sticking on offer, naturally all with pink resources, and pink painting we had an excellent play session while collecting for the charity. Some children were wearing pink items of clothing in the spirit of the themed day, however, the prize for the most shocking pair of pink tights goes to a member of staff – who shall be nameless! You know who you are! Many thanks to all our lovely Mums and Dads who sampled our cakes and supported the charity.

Job Centre Plus links

At your Children’s Centre we work in partnership with Job Centre Plus to help you obtain employment training or education. We run free courses in the centre with the support of JCP which could lead you into looking at your future.

The members of Staff for the Chestnut Children’s Centre are: Head of Centre Lindy Brown Denise Dyer Senior Childcare Co-ordinator Josie Ellis Senior Administrator Deputy for Inclusion and Carry Faircloth Nursery Plus Albert Hainsworth Senior Project Worker Adult Guidance Julie Holmes Child Care Co-ordinator Maryanne Jennings Children’s Centre Sessional Worker Gemma Lilley Children’s Centre Sessional Worker (outreach) Jacky Mahoney Children’s Centre Sessional Worker Pip Meek Children’s Centre Sessional Worker Senior child and family worker Jane McArdle Aleksandra Mucha Children & family worker (outreach) Katy Perry Children’s Centre Sessional Worker Nichola Picken Children’s Centre Sessional Worker Judy Pyart Children’s Centre Qualified Teacher Maggie Reeves Nursery Manager Child Care Co-ordinator / Caroline Rice Admin assistant Children & family worker Sarah Street Children & family worker Amy Tucker KITCHEN Debbie Hill Sally Moore Anne Worth

Kitchen Assistant Kitchen Manager Meal Time Assistant

The Chestnut Centre For children and their families

The way we work is that we are along side you and act as your advocate and support you in attending meetings at JCP. We also can speak to them on your behalf and can help you with any enquiries or paper work. Drop into the Chidren’s Centre to see the latest jobs.

HEALTH TEAM Anne Burgess Sue Buzzard Laura Cobb Gayle Fearn Jo Gibson Victoria Howard Jean Leight Yvonne Maunder Jane Perry Helen Stoneman Charlotte Tuckett

Community Health Worker Health Visitor Community Health Worker Health Visitor Health Team Admin Officer Public Health Nurse (Team Leader) Health Visitor School Nurse Community Health Worker Health Visitor Public Health Nurse

NURSERY TEAM Pat Bell Nursery Nurse Learning Support Assistant Tina Brown Sophie Discombe Learning Support Assistant Nursery Nurse Pat Gordon Rosie Lee Nursery Nurse Fiona Priest Nursery Teacher Ruth Thomas Learning Support Assistant Marilyn Wells Nursery Teacher Nursery Nurse Elaine Woods Wendy Wheldon Learning Support Assistant Barbara Whiffin Nursery Plus LSA The members of the Governing Body for the Chestnut Children’s Centre are: Lindy Brown, Peter Chalkley, Megan Cross Nadine Dabinett, Josie Ellis, Victoria Howard Jane Lucas, David Mezzetti, Dorothy Parker Jens Pedersen, Katie Porter, Nikki Phillips Ian Rogers, Jane Tipping All supported by the friendly Admin Team.

Chestnut Children’s Centre and Nursery School Magnolia Avenue, Wonford Exeter EX2 6DJ T: 01392 255128 E: W: Head of centres: Lindy Brown

Visit our website or call us on 01392 255128 for up to date activity timetable information. Newsletter design: Photos: Bill Sykes

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