Providing young children with a safe and happy environment to learn, via a wide variety of structured play activities.
The local playgroup has, over the last month or so, built itself a playground adjacent to it's premises at Mytholmroyd Community Centre. The current Chairperson, Miss Sharron Greenwood, has worked over the last two years to fund, plan and implement this project.
Works commenced on The Queen's Golden Jubilee Day when the diggers moved in, and continued with sterling work from a number of parents, particularly Keith Moralee, who was there at the planning meeting right through to the hosing down of the tarmac ready for the soft surface, Paul Toner who grafted so hard in the rain, Robin Lord who just kept being there, Richard Timson and Paul Taylor, not to mention site manageress Miss Greenwood herself, who has become quite adept with a pick-axe!
Thanks must also go to the professionals who brought their expertise - Bob and Frank Horsfield for the fence and gates, Aimon,Dawn and Gary Prentice of Expertrees for plants and turf, John (Bull) for topsoil and Phil Smith for general help and advice. On Saturday 29th June a "Planting Party" was held, attended by the Mayor Mrs. Christine Bampton-Smith. The event included barbecue, face painting and a DJ, and was attended by many parents and children, who enjoyed getting their hands dirty as work neared completion.
A safety surface is due to be laid during the week commencing 1st July, and the tentatively named "Jubilee Play Area" will be complete.
About Mytholmroyd Playgroup
Playgroup was established about 34 years ago by local mothers at St. Michaels Church Hall. In 1977, when Mytholmroyd Community Centre was opened, the group found a permanent home and has been there ever since. As such it is one of the oldest established playgroups in the valley.
This community led group provides places for up to twenty four children per session, and currently hosts over forty children between the ages of two and five years. It is open five days a week between 9.00am and 3.20pm, with drop off / pick up to and from Burnley Road Nursery. The facilities are shared with the Mother and Toddler Group, which meets on Tuesday Mornings, catering for mothers and their children from birth up to the age at which the begin to integrate with the playgroup. Fees are kept to a minimum by constant fundraising and the not-for-profit ethic of registered charitable status. Playgroups receive no long term funding from local councils or government. While there are grants available for special projects, nothing comes easily!
Play Leaders and assistants (All qualified or studying towards qualifications in childcare) are in charge of the day to day education and stimulation of the children via the activities on offer. Parents work in partnership with these leaders and their assistants. Parents also act as the committee, who after consultation make the decisions regarding the running of the group.
Children at PlayOur playroom is set up to offer a wide range of activities and to encourage independence and the development of self-help skills. Following a substantial grant from Calderdale Council (Pre-school Learning Alliance) and £1500 donated by Hebden Royd Town Council, we hope to re-organise and improve the facilities within the room over the summer, to complement our new outdoor play area and garden. Through their play activities, in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, children feel free to explore and acquire new skills, and learn to socialise with each other. We provide messy play, paints, drawing, a book corner, sand and water play, imaginative role play, construction, baking and a range of art to stimulate young minds. Out of doors we have large play equipment and an assortment of tricycles, scooters and the like. During playgroup sessions we encourage the development of physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social skills, but the emphasis is firstly on having fun!
Plans for ImprovementOver the past three decades what is expected and required of childcare facilities has changed. One thing that has not changed is the need for our children to play freely and safely in a stimulating and fun environment. Our outdoor play area will be a major contributor to serving this need, but it is only part of the story. Like most playgroups, Mytholmroyd's used to be purely "sessional" care, that is to say, a number of morning and/or afternoon sessions, but closing for lunch. However, in September 2001 Mytholmroyd Playgroup took the plunge of becoming available full time, five days a week, and has gone on to thrive, now employing six staff and providing local parents with affordable childcare for sessions long enough to make returning to work a possibility. We are currently going through the proceedures of becoming Ofsted approved and this will be achieved by the end of the year.
Further InformationMytholmroyd Playgroup and Toddlers
£6.00 for half day with pick up/drop off
£3.50 session / Mother & Toddlers £1.50.
Mytholmroyd Community Centre
Playgroup Leaders :Linda Thwaites & Penny Daniels