Toddler Group

First Steps is a Parent/Carer, Baby and Toddler group for children, aged up to three years, which takes place on Wednesday mornings, in school term time, from 10.00am until 11.30am.

First Steps is part of Berkhamsted Baptist Church. Revd Stephen Ashby, our minister, is usually at First Steps and you can chat to him if you wish to have further information.

The group is run by members and friends of the church, these include Stephen Ashby, Veena Terry, Ruth Montacute, Sandra Wotton, Chris Hayward, Kathleen Smith, Margaret Pike, Lynn Rogers, Pat Ginger, Audrey Waterton, Celia Altobell and Frances Parsons. Helpers, who work directly with the children, have DBS clearance. All helpers wear First Steps name badges.

We aim to have an enjoyable morning where you and your child/ren can come and make friends. We do not have a waiting list, you’re welcome to drop in whenever you like. Please come prepared to join in all our activities, sometimes “messy” play can be messy!

We’re a friendly group and upsets are very rare but we want to emphasise that during the group time parents/carers have full responsibility for the health and safety of their child/ren.

We recommend parents/carers to discipline their child/ren, should it be necessary.  We reserve the right, following consultation with the parent, to remove a child from the group if there is unresolved anti-social behaviour.

Coming to the group

Parents/Carers and children should enter the building by the front door in the church.  For Health and Safety reasons, pushchairs, buggies and prams are left in the church porch. All adults sign in for every session and adults and children wear name labels.

The session charge is £2.00 per family, regardless of the number of children. First visits are free of charge.

Ladies and Gents toilets are situated by the Ravens Lane entrance. Children’s toilets, a disabled toilet, nappy changing unit and children’s wash basins are situated just off the hall. We have access for anyone who is disabled. Fire information is in the hall. An Accident Book is held, should any accidents occur, this information must be entered immediately.

Programme

From 10.00am – 11.00am we have informal play. The following activities are available; slide, push-along and ride-on toys, seesaw, dressing-up clothes, book table, construction toys, jigsaw puzzles and role play activities. We have creative play tables for craft activities using paper, card, glue, paints, play-dough, crayons and other materials. Children can take their finished work home.  When the weather is fine and warm we also use the play area outside.

There is a carpeted area with suitable toys for babies.

At around 11.00am we have a refreshment time with drinks, biscuits and bananas, when children are encouraged to sit at a shared table for a quiet time. If your child has any special dietary, medical or religious requirements (eg. nut/dairy allergies) it is essential that we know. Tea and biscuits are available to adults. Sometimes we have cakes for special celebrations.

Towards the end of the session, we sit around in a circle, share any news, notices are given either verbally or in written form, we celebrate birthdays and sing songs. The children play musical instruments. The leaders sing with the children and use suitable CDs. Adults and children are asked to join in this closing activity.  We would appreciate everyone staying until we finish by joining in and singing “Here we go ‘round the mulberry bush”.