Giving children the best start in life

The Parks Children's Centre

Making an impact with chatta

The Parks Children Centre Logo

The Parks Children's Centre

Introduction

 The Parks Children’s Centre in Hull has a clear aim to make sure that children get the very best start in life. They offer a wide range of services for families including:

  • Play sessions, activities and events.
  • Health services.
  • Family support and parenting advice.
  • Training, benefits and employment advice.
  • Adult training courses.

Staff at the Children’s Centre have been working with chatta at ‘stay and play’ sessions. The focus has been on partnerships with parents and engaging ‘hard to reach’ families along with promoting spoken language and play-based learning.

Since working with chatta, staff at The Parks Children’s Centre have engaged with:

  • On-site training with the chatta team
  • Online training
  • Activity demonstration sessions
  • Parent workshops
  • Chatta activity resources
  • Online and telephone support
The Parks Children's Centre 1

The chatta approach has been used to share songs and stories with parents and carers. This enables the themes and ideas explored at the children’s centre to be further explored in the home setting. Parents have also attended chatta workshops and have been given access to the chatta app and resources to allow them to continue the approach at home.

Chatta Workshop

Parents attended chatta workshops which were held during normal children’s centre group sessions.

The sessions for parents introduced the chatta approach and the way it uses images to support language and learning.

Every child deserves the best start in life and this is a great project. As digital technology is reshaping our lives on a daily basis and the way we communicate, this new app for parents is an effective way to support their child’s learning and development. Chatta helps children become better communicators, readers, writers and thinkers, offering huge benefits for when they start primary school.

Councillor Phil Webster, Portfolio holder for learning, skills and safeguarding children

Reaching all Families

The staff at The Parks Children’s Centre use the chatta approach to support all families including disadvantaged and ‘hard to reach’ families.  Digital story and song boards are created using the chatta app and these are then sent directly to parent email addresses. This supports parents in encouraging oral narrative in the home environment.

There is nothing like this. We know so many of our families are interested in using technology to support their child’s learning and this is the best way there is, and it was all made in Hull.

Cheryl Bowers, Hull City Council Early Years Team

Stories are pre-recorded using chatta and children are encouraged to create their own props in the sessions to be able to re-tell the story. Parents have commented on the stories and said this is a good way to develop listening and communication skills.

Kelly (Parks and McMillan - Children’s Centre practitioner)

Play

The chatta approach has supported staff at The Parks Children’s Centre to encourage children to talk about group sessions. Using chatta, they photograph and send home ‘child’s eye view’ pictures which can be used for later discussion about activities and toys used at group sessions.

We have started to use chatta within our play sessions at Parks and McMillan Children’s Centres. The parents have been great, have adapted to the approach really quickly and have been keen to see how it can support their child’s communication skills.  The children have been very excited to see their favourite toys and activities on the screen.  Chatta is being used to develop children’s communication, language and understanding of sequencing. 

Kelly (Parks and McMillan - Children’s Centre practitioner)