Taking Story Seekers into children’s centres

Just a quick post, but this article from Nursery World reinforced my feelings about how I’d love to take Story Seekers sessions into children’s centres.

I think that there are some parents who would potentially find the cost and/or atmosphere at a pre-paid baby and toddler class off-putting.  However, it might be that these same parents would love to learn more about the benefits of reading with their children from the earliest possible age and would also like to connect with other parents who are interested in learning about the same things.  Running session in children’s centres might be a great way to chat to these families, who otherwise I wouldn’t be able to reach.

When C (my first child) was born, we got invited to loads of different things at our local children’s centre.  One of these was a music group which I know was running elsewhere as pre-paid baby and toddler group as well, but our children’s centre had obviously felt that this external supplier was able to offer something that was of value to parents, so was employing them to run sessions on their behalf, for which there was no charge to us (as parents).

While I would LOVE to be able to offer my help for free, I have to be realistic and accept that although getting Story Seekers off the ground is something I’m very passionate about, I do need to earn money as well.  I appreciate that children’s centres budgets are getting more and more stretched, which would force me to be very clear about the benefit of what I was offering.  The above example of the music group at least leads me to believe that there is a precedent, so I’m not completely barking up the wrong tree!

I joined the steering group of the children’s centre when C was young, but there have been quite a few changes in our district since then and we are now assigned to a different one.  However, I am hoping that I’ll be able to get in touch with a few people and find out if they would be interested in Story Seekers.

I would either run regular sessions or one-off workshops on an ad hoc basis.  If neither of those options were suitable, I did wonder about whether it would be feasible to ‘join in’ with the baby clinics and baby/toddler groups, just to reinforce the fact that I was offering friendly, informal advice.

If anyone reading these has any thoughts, especially relating to services currently offered in their local children’s centres, I’d be very grateful to hear them!


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