One-to-one support at Gateway Tots
"There is fantastic one to one support – the staff know each child by name, knowing their strengths and weaknesses – like a friend or relative rather than an authoritative person, which I had found with other places."
PARENT OF JONATHAN* AGED 5
What was life like for your child and family before coming to City Gateway?
We were quite house bound – too scared to go out anywhere, because I was a lone parent and didn’t have a car at the time. I found it hard getting around places. Then as soon as my daughter started school things got very busy.
Shortly after this we went to see a speech and language therapist for my son Jonathan*, she suggested we went to a play group to help his development and speech. At the 2 year check-up I discovered the Children's centre and then I came across the leaflet – saying about Gateway Tots. It was just perfect – a very welcoming environment.
What was your experience at the playgroup like?
Really good, a nice cosy room. He felt quite overwhelmed at the start with all the new toys, but over time he started exploring by himself. The first time I explained to Emily on staff, that my son had a speech and language delay – she was really good with it, and helped Jonathan come out of his shell.
How is Gateway Tots different to other playgroups?
There is fantastic one to one support – the staff know each child by name, knowing their strengths and weaknesses – like a friend or relative rather than an authoritative person, which I had found with other places.
Has City Gateway helped you overcome any problems or barriers?
I think trusting Jonathan with other people. And having someone to talk to – Emily took an interest in us, not because she had to, but she wanted to. The staff know each child by name, knowing their strengths and weaknesses, like a friend or relative.
How have things changed for you and your child?
In a big, big way – not being housebound, getting a good routine, helping with Jonathan's social awareness and trusting other adults. I would have never thought of Jonathan going to playgroup at such a young age, especially with his speech delay – but meeting at the stay and play with Emily for over a year has helped greatly.
What would you tell your friends if they thought about bringing their children to Gateway Tots?
Yeah, I would definitely recommend it. The help that Emily and other staff have given – I wouldn’t have taken the step until the big push at five, let alone when he was three – they have helped so much.
Jonathan loves it here, he looks forward to coming to play group and to nursery – that is the main thing.
*Name changed to protect identity