Welcome to the Letchworth and Baldock Children's Centre Group

To be able to access all of the features on our website, we recommend viewing our website using the Google Chrome browser.

Our new weekly programme runs from 8th January 2018. Hope to see you there!

Hertfordshire Parents

HCC would like parents’ feedback on the childcare options available to their family.

Please complete the short survey to assist HCC in the planning of childcare places throughout the county.

https://surveys.hertfordshire.gov.uk/s/6Z24L/

Survey closes 23 February 2018.

Childcare Sufficiency Survey

Hertfordshire County Council is required to produce a childcare sufficiency report annually that the public are able to view. The childcare sufficiency report supports the council to understand the current market position across Hertfordshire. The report helps us to:

  • establish the sufficiency of places across Hertfordshire
  • support the sustainability of places
  • support the development of places where needed.

Please could we ask for you to complete the short survey below by Friday 23 February 2018 so that we can gather the sufficiency data for each area:

We would love for you to help us decide what groups we should run in the Easter Holidays.

Please take the time to complete our survey and let us know what groups you would like to see this Easter by following the link, it will take less than 30 seconds!


Easter Holiday Survey

Children’s Centres provide a ‘one stop shop’ within your local community offering information and access to services for families and carers with children aged under five years and parents to-be. They aim to offer every child the best start in life.

Families, carers and parents to-be can benefit from a range of flexible services and support when they need it and in convenient locations.

You can find which is your nearest children centre by going on the Hertfordshire Children's Centre postcode checker.

Children’s Centres can help you with:

  • Breastfeeding Support

  • Information about early education and childcare

  • Family learning activities

  • Parenting Courses

  • Employment or training advice

  • Outreach and family support

We work with other professionals including, GPs, Midwives, Early Years Settings, Schools, Health Visitors and Job Centres.

Letchworth and Baldock Children's Centre Group covers the the towns of Letchworth and Baldock and the surrounding villages of Weston, Ashwell and Sandon, offering services for approximately 3000 children under five.

The Pre-School Learning Alliance is the lead agency for the Letchworth and Baldock Children's Centre Group.

It comprises of 4 centres.

Services are delivered from these sites and other venues in the community.

Icknield  Childrens Centre

01462 684324

Icknield runs from a purpose built building on the Icknield Infant and Nursery School site.

Please note there is no public parking on the Children’s Centre site.

Open 8.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am - 12.00pm on Fridays.

Icknield is closed for lunch between 1 and 2pm.

Chestnut Tree Children's Centre

01462 685304

Chestnut Tree runs from a purpose built building on the same site as the Garden City Academy and in the same building as the Early Years Specialist Development Centre.

Please note there is no parking on site, except for blue badge holders.

Open 8.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Friday

Lime Tree Children's Centre

01462 480405

Lime Tree runs from a purpose built building in the same building as Early Bird Pre‑school.

There is parking on site.

Open 8.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Friday

Lime Tree is closed for lunch between 1 and 2pm.

Holly Blue Children's Centre

01462 893615

Holly Blue runs from 2 rooms within a purpose built building on the St Mary’s Infant School site.

You will find the Children’s Centre office opposite the school office in the school foyer.

Please note there is no public parking on the Children’s Centre or school site.

Open 8.30am - 4.00pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am - 12.00pm on Fridays.

Holly Blue is closed for lunch between 12 and 1pm.

 

Registrations

We ask that anyone who uses the Letchworth & Baldock Children's Centre Group is registered with us.

You can register by downloading a Registration Form and returning it to any of our centres or you can register online if you prefer.

Alternatively, you can pick up a form from any of our Children Centres.

Thank you for taking the time to register with us. This will enable us to keep you up to date about all the exciting activities and courses we have available to you.

Please follow this link to join Family Corner, the NEW and FREE parent club from Pre-school Learning Alliance- www.familycorner.co.uk

Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline

The Hertfordshire domestic abuse helpline is a confidential, free-to-caller signposting service for anyone affected by domestic violence or domestic abuse. Please click below to go to their website.

email : letchworthandbaldockcc@pre-school.org.uk

breastfeeding_logo.jpg   My Baby's Brain logo   

About us

Meet the team

The Senior Leadership Team:

Angela Hall, Manager and the senior team member, based at Icknield Children’s Centre.
Karen Powell, Senior Early Years Coordinator and the senior team member, based at Chestnut Tree Children's Centre. Karen oversees the Play Team.
Sarah Rutherford, Senior Outreach and the senior team member, based at Lime Tree Children's Centre. Sarah looks after the Outreach Team.
Nina Morgan, Senior Data Coordinator and the senior team member, based at Holly Blue Children's Centre. Nina also leads the Admin Team for the group.

Adult Learning:

Kirsten Osborne, Adult Learning Coordinator based at Icknield Children's Centre. Kirsten organises courses and training across the whole of the group.

Kirsten also line manages all our volunteers.

The Play Team:

Sheena Levy, Play Coordinator based at Chestnut Tree Children's Centre.
Sophie Gates, Play Coordinator based at Chestnut Tree Children's Centre.
Sarah Sutton, Play Coordinator based at Chestnut Tree Children's Centre.
Tunay Karagedik Burns, Play Assistant based at Chestnut Tree Children's Centre.
Laura Budini, Play Assistant based at Chestnut Tree Children's Centre.
Marie Freeman, Play Assistant based at Chestnut Tree Children's Centre.

Emma Lawrence, Play Assistant based at Chestnut Tree Children's Centre.

Iman Heflin-scott, Play Assistant based at Chestnut Tree Children's Centre.

The play team run sessions across the whole group and you will see them at each of the centres and out in the community.

The Outreach Team:

Cheryl Penny, Outreach Worker based at Lime Tree Children’s Centre.

Sue Melvin, Outreach Worker based at Lime Tree Children’s Centre.

Mandy Dungey, Outreach Worker based at LIme Tree Children’s Centre.

Caroline Day, Outreach Worker based at Lime Tree Children's Centre. 
Rebecca Pugh, Outreach Worker based at Lime Tree Children's Centre.

The outreach team are here to provide families with individual support, across the whole group. Although they are based at Lime Tree Children’s Centre, you will also see the outreach team support the play team at groups and sessions and out and about in the community.

The Admin Team:

Michelle Seebold, Administrator based at Icknield Children's Centre.
Millie Campbell, Administrator based at Holly Blue Children's Centre.
Kinga Marszalek, Administrator based at Chestnut Tree Children's Centre.
Sarah Brown, Administrator at based at Lime Tree Children's Centre.

The admin team are spread across the group in each centre and are there to welcome you into the centres and provide admin support to the rest of the staff in the group.

Sam Burd, Under One's Coordinator based at Holly Blue Children's Centre. Sam is responsible for everything to do with our youngest members and also for sessions for our expectant parents.

 

Our Services

Parent Information - Pre-schools, Day Nurseries and Schools

Pre‑schools (sometimes called Playgroups) provide early education for children aged from around 2 years. The care is often sessional, either providing mornings or afternoons, or a combination of the both. Most will provide 15 hours free early education from...

Read more

Our Policies

Below you will find information on our key policies and procedures. Copies of the full Letchworth and Baldock Children’s Centre Group Policies and Procedures are available on request from any of our Children’s Centres.

Safeguarding Children

...

Read more

Parent Information - Toddler Groups

https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/***~WHO LET THE DADS OUT~*** @ St Paul's Church Hall, second Saturday of the month, 10.00 - 11.30am. Bacon rolls included! View the flyer...

Read more

Parent Information - Free Childcare for 2, 3 & 4 year olds

Free 2 Year Old Childcare

Some pre-schools and Day Nurseries also provide up to 15 hours free early education...

Read more

Parent Information - SEND

SEND Local Offer

Changes in attitudes, law and practice over the last couple of decades has meant that most young children with special educational needs and disabilities now start their education in mainstream provision. However, the system for...

Read more

Parent Information - General Guidance

What to expect when...The Ear...

Read more

Early Years Pupil Premium

Early Years Pupil Premium (parents)

What is the early years pupil premium?

Early years pupil premium is an additional amount of funding that pre-schools, nurseries, schools and...

Read more

Healthy Children's Centre Programme

Hertfordhsire want people living in the county to have the healthiest...

Read more

Parent Information - Pre-schools, Day Nurseries and Schools

Pre‑schools (sometimes called Playgroups) provide early education for children aged from around 2 years. The care is often sessional, either providing mornings or afternoons, or a combination of the both. Most will provide 15 hours free early education from the term after a child’s third birthday and many also provide 15 hours free early education for 2 year olds, if you meet certain criteria.

Day Nurseries provide care and early years education, fitting in with the average working day of 8am to 6pm and usually all year round. Day Nurseries usual take children as young as 6 months up until 5 years old. Some Day Nurseries also provide 15 hours free ealy education from the term after a child's 3rd birthday.

Some pre-schools and Day Nurseries also provide up to 15 hours free early education for children after their second birthday, but there are specific circumstances that need to be met to mean that you are eligible. For more information about the free 2 year early education place, you can contact one of our Children’s Centres or go to the Herts County Council website to check your own eligibility.

There are both Primary and Infants Schools in the Letchworth and Baldock Children’s Centre Group area, and most also have nursery schools or classes. There is also one Nursery School in Baldock.

The links below will take you to the local Pre‑schools', Day Nurseries' and Schools' own website, where you will be able to find out more information about the setting.

Letchworth

Baldock

Sandon

Ashwell

Letchworth Schools

Baldock Schools

Ashwell

Weston

To apply for a school place you will need to use the Herts County Council On‑line admissions

Our Policies

Below you will find information on our key policies and procedures. Copies of the full Letchworth and Baldock Children’s Centre Group Policies and Procedures are available on request from any of our Children’s Centres.

Safeguarding Children

Safeguarding Policy

Safeguarding Information

E‑Safety Information

E‑Safety Procedure

Record Keeping and Information Sharing

Record Keeping & Information Sharing Policy

Promoting Inclusion & Equality and Valuing Diversity

Promoting Inclusion & Equality and Valuing Diversity Policy

Promoting Inclusion & Equality and Valuing Diversity Information

Complaints

Complaints Procedure

Charging for Services

Charging Policy

Ethnic Monitoring

Hertfordshire County Council Information Leaflet — Why we need to ask about your Ethnic Origin

Parent Information - Toddler Groups

https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/***~WHO LET THE DADS OUT~*** @ St Paul's Church Hall, second Saturday of the month, 10.00 - 11.30am. Bacon rolls included! View the flyer here.

For more information of Toddler Groups in the area please visit Activites and Leisure on the Herts Directory page of the Herts Direct website. If you find any we have missed out then please do let us know!

Parent Information - Free Childcare for 2, 3 & 4 year olds

Free 2 Year Old Childcare

Some pre-schools and Day Nurseries also provide up to 15 hours free early education for children after their second birthday, but there are specific circumstances that need to be met to mean that you are eligible. For more information about the free 2 year early education place, you can contact one of our Children’s Centres or go to the Herts County Council website to check your own eligibility.

 

Family Services Commissioning (FSC) has created a new contact email address for parents who have queries regarding their free early education and childcare entitlement. Their new email is childcare@hertfordshire.gov.uk

 

Two year old free early education – myth busting

If an eligible families circumstances change, they may no longer be entitled to two year old funding 

Myth - If a family is eligible when they apply, they remain eligible regardless of any change in circumstances

 

Settings are allowed to charge parents ‘up front’ and then refund them when they are paid by the local authority

Myth – There should be no charge at all to parents who are only accessing the free entitlement

 

Settings can charge for extra activities such as ballet or French

 

Fact – Settings can charge for any additional activities they offer BUT families should not have to take up the additional activity as a condition of having a place

Any provider can offer free places for two year olds

 

Myth – Providers must have a good or outstanding Ofsted grade in order to offer 2 year old places

Families are entitled to a free two year old place if the parent is in receipt of disability living allowance

Myth – Families are entitled to a free 2 year old place if the CHILD is in receipt of disability living allowance

 

An eligible reference number expires after a certain period of time

Myth – A reference number is valid from when you apply until the term after your child’s third birthday

A child has to attend a setting for 15 hours a week

 

Myth – the family should be offered 15 hours a week but can take less should they choose to

 

A setting will be able to tell a family if they are eligible

 

Myth – Families must make an application which will then initiate an eligibility check

 

A child cannot start to access their entitlement after headcount week

Myth – A child can start at any point in the term as long as they are in the correct age range

Parents cannot access a place for their 2 year old in a different local authority

Myth – If a family are eligible they should be able to access the free entitlement wherever they choose

Parents cannot change setting mid term

 

Myth – A parent can move their child to another setting mid-term.  The original setting and the new one will need to record this in adjustment week. NB the parent will need to be aware of the settings notice policy

If a child is entitled to two year old funding they will automatically qualify for early years pupil premium (EYPP)

Myth – Many children who are eligible for 2 year old funding are eligible for EYPP but there are some criteria that are different

 

 

Free early education and childcare for three and four year olds

All three and four year olds are entitled to 15 hours of free early education for 38 weeks of the year. This applies until they reach compulsory school age (the term following their fifth birthday). Free early education places are available at a range of early years settings including nursery schools and classes, day nurseries, play groups, pre-schools and childminders.

When can I get a free childcare place?

A child born in the period 

Will become eligible for a free place

1 April to 31 August

the start of term beginning on or following 1 September after the child's third birthday

1 September to 31 December

the start of term beginning on or following 1 January after the child's third birthday

1 January to 31 March

the start of term beginning on or following 1 April after the child's third birthday 

 

The 15 hours free early education entitlement can be taken flexibly, at up to two providers within the following limits:

  • the full 15 hours have to be taken over at least two days per week and a maximum of five days per week

  • a minimum of two and a half hours can be taken in one day

  • a maximum of ten hours can be taken in one day

For example, your child could have nine hours at a nursery class and six hours with a pre-school, day nursery, childminder or independent school over the course of two days or more, if both settings agree.

In some cases you may also be eligible for an additional 15 hours free childcare, giving you 30 hours in total. To find out more visit the Herts County Council Website

You can find providers offering free places by using the childcare directory. You can also check the Ofsted website for any inspection results.

 If you would like to apply for a school nursery place, you can find out more on HertsDirect.

Please do pop in to any of our Children's Centres if you feel you need support with your nursery application.

Early Years Pupil Premium 

EYPP is an additional amount of funding that pre-schools, nurseries, schools and childminders will be able to claim for eligible three and four year old children to support their development and learning. More information can be found here.

 

Parent Information - SEND

SEND Local Offer

Changes in attitudes, law and practice over the last couple of decades has meant that most young children with special educational needs and disabilities now start their education in mainstream provision. However, the system for identifying and meeting children’s needs has not always been effective, and some parents have found it difficult to secure suitable provision for their children.

Local authorities must ensure that all funded early years providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors, are aware of the requirement on them to have regard to the SEND Code of Practice (2014), and to meet the needs of children with SEN and disabilities. When securing funded early education for two, three and four‑year‑olds, local authorities should promote equality and inclusion for children with disabilities or SEN. This includes removing barriers that prevent children accessing early education, and working with parents to give each child support to fulfil their potential.

Local authorities should meet these duties alongside other legislative childcare duties to secure information, advice and training, and provide sufficient childcare provision.

Please use the link to the Hertfordshire County Council Directory & click on the SEND Local Offer button where you will be able to view and search for more information.

Herts County Council are currently running a survey to gather the views of families of children with special educational needs and disabilities about the support they receive during the early years. The purpose of the survey is to understand how many families currently access support and how we can make the offer to parents better. To take part in the survey, please click the link below:

Parent Information - General Guidance

What to expect when...The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS) sets out the learning and development stages for children as they grow from birth to five years. For those working in the early years, the EYFS outlines what they need to do to support your child. Together 4 Children have produced this book to help you as a parent/carer* find out more about how your child is learning and developing during their first five years, in relation to the EYFS.

 

My Baby's Brain

We already know that parents are the most important things in children’s lives, but recently we have discovered something even more amazing... we have discovered that how a parent behaves around their baby in the first three years of the baby’s life has a significant impact on how their baby’s brain develops. This is the foundation of how the brain will work as the child grows up and becomes an adult, so if a baby’s brain develops healthily they are more likely to be happy and successful as older children and adults.

Childhood Support Services (CSS) has produced a new My Baby’s Brain film that shows the five to thrive in action and the importance this has in giving children the best start in life. There are two versions of the film, one audio and one with text; you can find the films on the http://www.hertsdirect.org/services/edlearn/css/mbb

 

Did you know that if you are on certain benefits, or pregnant and under 18, you could qualify to receive vouchers every week to use on things like milk, fresh or frozen vegetables or infant formula milk. Please visit the Healthystart website to find out more.

 

NHS choices offers all sorts of advice, including how to have a healthy diet whilst pregnant  and how to find a dentist in your area.

 

 

 

 

 Start for life is part of the Change for Life campaign, and will give you specific information about healthy feeding choices for your baby.

  For specific support with Breast Feeding click here

Early Years Pupil Premium

Early Years Pupil Premium (parents)

What is the early years pupil premium?

Early years pupil premium is an additional amount of funding that pre-schools, nurseries, schools and childminders will be able to claim to support the development and learning of eligible three and four year old children.

What benefit will it be to my child?

The pre-school, nursery, school or childminder that your child attends will receive an additional amount of funding to support your child’s development. They will work with you to decide what they should spend this funding on. It may be training for the staff to help them to support your child better or they may buy some resources to assist your child’s learning.

Who is eligible for the funding?

Children will attract early years pupil premium if their families are in receipt of one of the following benefits.

  • Income support
  • Job Seekers’ Allowance (Income-based)
  • Employment & Support Allowance (Income-related)
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of the State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit based on an annual gross income of no more than £16,190
  • Working Tax Credit run-on

How do I find out if my child is eligible for early years pupil premium?

Every term you will have to sign a parent declaration form at your child’s setting. The parent declaration has a section that asks for your surname, date of birth and national insurance number. These details are needed to check to see if your child is eligible for early years pupil premium.

I am not the child’s parent but I am their main carer. Are they eligible?

The following groups of children are automatically eligible:

  •  children who are looked after by the local authority
  •     children who have left care through a special guardianship, adoption or residence order.

If the child you look after falls into one of the above categories there is no need for an eligibility check to be performed and you will not need to complete the early years pupil premium section of the parent declaration form. You just need to let the setting know about your child’s circumstances.

My child is adopted, are they eligible?

Yes. There is no need for an eligibility check to be performed and you will not need to complete the early years pupil premium section of the parent declaration form. You just need to let the setting know about your child’s circumstances.

For further information please speak with your child’s setting and they will talk you through the process to claim this additional funding and explain in more detail how the funding can support your child or click here.

Healthy Children's Centre Programme

Hertfordhsire want people living in the county to have the healthiest lives possible. The Healthy Children's Centre Programme provides a systematic, structured and evidenced approach for all activity provided by the children's centres and thier linked partners.

 For loads of fantasitc activities to get the whole family active in the Children's Centre area visit http://www.activenorthherts.co.uk/

 

Did you know that if you are on certain benefits, or pregnant and under 18, you could qualify to receive vouchers every week to use on things like milk, fresh or frozen vegetables or infant formula milk. Please visit the Healthystart website to find out more.

 

 

 

 

 NHS choices offers all sorts of advice, including how to have a healthy diet whilst pregnant  and how to find a dentist in your area.

 

 

 

Check out the Change for Life website for information about healthy life styles including healthy eating and exercise for all the family.

 

 

 

Start for life is part of the Change for Life campaign, and will give you specific information about healthy feeding choices for your baby.

 

 

 

Beezee Bodies runs loads of programmes designed to help families make small changes which make a big difference!

Events

New Timetable starts 19th February 2018. 

pdf icon Spring 2018 Timetable

Breast Feeding support:

If you have English as an additional language, it would be lovely to see you at our Let's Get Together group on Wednesday's. This group runs term time only and will re-start on Wednesday 10th January 2018.

Our Back to Work Parent Forum dates for 2018 are:

  • Friday 9th March
  • Friday 20th April
  • Friday 4th May
  • Friday 22nd June

This is perfect for you if you're going back to work and want some support with any of the concerns you might have about this big step. Just come drop in and see us!

pdf icon Parent Forum Flyer

Breast Feeding Cafe at Holly Blue Children's Centre. This is a new regular drop-in for all the family, where you can meet other people, come and have a chat and a bite to eat, or access breastfeeding support if you need to. It will be running very Tuesday 12.30 to 2pm. Just pop in!

Letchworth and Baldock Children's Centre Group run a programme specifically for

pdf icon Antenatal and Babies and pdf icon Children Under 1:

Antenatal

NEW dates for January:

Breeze Birthing and Baby Spinning

New dates for Babies Under 1:

We run Baby Signing classes in community venues and at our centres, please click here for more information.

We also have a rolling programme of pdf icon courses for adults running. Please contact our Adult Learning Coordinator if you are interested in signing up for any of our courses.

If you need any more information on any of our servcies, just call one of our centres.

Play Music Play session in the area.

Play Music Play website

Contact us

 

Icknield Children's Centre

Archers Way

Letchworth


Herts SG6 4UN

01462 684324

Chestnut Tree Children's Centre

Radburn Way

Letchworth

Herts SG6 2JR


(Use SG6 2JZ for Navigation)

01462 685304

Lime Tree Children's Centre

West View

Letchworth

Herts SG6 3QN

01462 480405

Holly Blue Children's Centre

St. Mary's Way

Baldock

Herts SG7 6HY

01462 893615

 

To find our Children's Centres, please click oin the map below:

Main Office
Icknield Children's Centre
Archers Way
Letchworth
Hertfordshire
SG6 4UN
United Kingdom
Tel: 01462 684324