Welcome to the new Chestnut@Franche

Chestnut@Franche has officially opened its doors to families and children in Kidderminster and beyond.

Franche Community Primary School stepped in on December 1st 2016 to take over what was previously a 10:32 Children’s Centre.

The centre, located on the school site in Chestnut Grove, will continue to offer vital family support and play & learning activities for 0-5s, under the leadership of manager Michelle Froggatt.

Michelle, who previously managed the children’s centre, said she was excited about the opportunities that lay ahead to develop much needed community services from the school site.

“It is going to be a real challenge because we have a very small budget, but we are going to be developing a range of new partnerships to ensure local families have access to facilities they need.”

On its first day (December 1) the centre hosted a fantastic Winterland Adventures family learning afternoon, where parents helped their young children create advent calendars and Christmas decorations with the support of Worcestershire County Council’s libraries and learning team.

This spring term, the centre will also host Stay and Play activities, Talking Walk-In sessions designed to support language development in early years, and music time.

Chestnut@Franche is also keen to reintroduce Tots Splashtime in the school’s own swimming pool, baby massage, weekly stay and play groups and outdoor activities. The centre will also host Book and Cook sessions, where families share a children’s book then cook a dish related to it.

Parents will also be encouraged to enjoy their own learning opportunities, with the chance to take food hygiene, literacy, art and maths courses and qualifications.

Head teacher Val Weddell Hall said it was an exciting time for the school in its misson to be at the heart of the local community.

“We believe very strongly in supporting our local families and know how vital those earliest years are. We also recognise this time can be very isolating for parents. The centre will be a welcome haven and facility for our families.”

The centre was previously part of the 10:32 project, led by family charity Barnardo’s, which operated children’s centres across the Wyre Forest district. Some of those centres have stayed under 10:32 management while others, like Franche, have switched to new management.

The first Chestnut@Franche newsletter is featured below: