News and announcements

What's happening at our Children's Centre

Helpful activities for children to practise social distancing and hand washing, click on the activity to download:

Hand Washing Song Activity

Two Metre Activity

Coronavirus (COVID19): Advice for parents - Link

This guidance was published on 11 May 2020. As this is a fast-moving situation, we will be reviewing and updating the guidance as it changes. Please keep checking this page for updates.

Child Safety Week 1st - 7th June 2020

How a child or young person reacts to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak may depend on their age, past experiences or understanding of what's happening.

Some children and young people, including those with additional needs and disabilities, may find it difficult to deal with things.

For instance, some may worry about their health, their loved ones or have physical symptoms like stomach ache. Others may behave differently, getting more angry, distant or acting up in other ways.

Some children might react right away and some may show signs of difficulty later on. Other children might be coping fine, and some younger children may be enjoying more time with the family.

If you are a parent or carer, it's important you know how to look after the mental health of those you care for during this time. Here are 10 top tips to help you.


To see Calderdale’s Public Health Early Years’ Service and what they can offer, please download: 

Health card AW Web.pdf

Speech & Language (SALT)

Download the PDF's below:

Creating the Need to Communicate.pdf

Importance of Turn Taking.pdf

Ideas to Develop Early Language.pdf

How to Include Simple Language in Daily Activities.pdf

The Early Words Checklist_Explanation.pdf

Creating the Need to Talk.pdf

Creating Opportunities to Talk.pdf

Top 10 SLT tips under 5 years.pdf

At Home Activities:
















6 April, 2020

Our family support services are still operating and can offer advice and support:

20 March 2020

Hi All

Re: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Further to Halifax Opportunities Trust’s (HOT) communications by text messages. We want to update you about providing childcare for children whose parents are key workers and providing childcare for vulnerable children.

The government have now issued guidelines for Schools and nurseries to follow in providing these places and have produced information for parent and carers.

Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in:

  • Health and social care,
  • Education and childcare
  • Key Public services
  • Local and national government
  • Food and other necessary goods
  • Public safety and national security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, communication and financial services

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed above, and you cannot keep your child/ren safe at home.  

Please follow these key principles:

  1. All children should stay at home if possible.
  2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
  3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
  4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
  5. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.

All our HOT nurseries have considered the guidance and nursery staff will be contacting all the parents of vulnerable children as outlined in the guidance today and will be confirming they can still attend nursery.

We will be prioritising the nursery places for Children as follows:

  1. Vulnerable children on Child Protection/Child in Need Plans/ Children looked after/ Children on Educational Health Care Plans
  2. Key worker children – if a single parent is a key worker or both parents are key workers
  3. Key worker children with at least one parent who is identified as in a critical role by the government can continue to attend our nurseries.

As stated in the guidance if you think your role falls within the critical categories outlined, you should confirm with your employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, your specific role is necessary for the continuation of your employer’s essential public service.

Once you have had this confirmation from your employer, please contact nursery directly who will take some details from you about your role and employer and will be able to confirm a place.

For nursery parents who do not fit any of the above criteria, your child will not be able to attend nursery as previously informed. 

For those parents whose children will not be attending until further notice from Monday. We will be contacting you within the next month to discuss refund options for March fees and any fees you may have paid in advance for April. Nursery staff will be aiming to keep in contact with you all weekly and offer any support we can.

Please also look out for activity ideas on our Facebook pages. We will contact you if there are any changes of government information around closures of nurseries. Please keep looking on our website and Facebook pages for any updates.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact your nursery directly, we want to offer our families as much support we can in these challenging times.

Kind Regards

Caren Parkinson

Children & Families Lead.

50 things to do before you're 5

#26 Splish, splash, splosh,

Instead of having a bath just before bed why not have a spontaneous bath and add extra silly things like shaving foam.

Let your children make marks in the foam maybe add a drop of food colouring.

When done wash it all away.

50 things to do before you're 5

#7 Making music

Make your own musical instruments

Use objects from your home like , gravy granules tub, Pringles tube, butter tub, use elastic bands , paper, scissors, pencils to decorate.

Fill your washed empty tub with either lentils, pasta, dried peas.

Attach a piece of paper on top and secure with an elastic band and sing away with your musical instrument.

50 things to do before your 5

#3 Treasure Time

Make a treasure basket

You will need :

  • A box or basket
  • Natural materials like wooden spoons, scarfs, metal spoons,  Utensils.
  • You can also add scented things to a basket.

50 things to do before your 5
#6 Rhyme time

Pretend to walk through the jungle using the walking through the jungle book, if you don’t have the book here are key phrases:

“Walking  through the jungle

What can you see

I think I see a tiger looking for his tea.”

COVID-19 UPDATE AS OF 11.23 AM 17.03.2020





Changes to services held at Beech Hill Children's Centre


Changes to services run at sunshine children's centre 



2020 Notice to parents regarding redesign of Children Centre services




Your privacy is important to Halifax Opportunities Trust and we take our responsibility regarding the security of your personal information very seriously.

Halifax Opportunities Trust takes its responsibility as a custodian of all the personal information which we hold and we will act in accordance with the new European Union law which governs data privacy matters. This new law is known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

To help us perform our duties under the GDPR, particularly with respect to our obligation to be transparent with you about the handling of your personal information, we have prepared a document called a Privacy Notice


New Groups for 2018

We are pleased to introduce two new regular groups at some of the centres across Calderdale. 

Boothtown and Jubilee Children's Centres will host monthly 'Weaning Groups' which will be run by the health visiting teams with the aim of supporting parents with babies transitioning to solid foods.  See the flyers below for dates and times.


A very warm welcome to Susy Thomas! Susy will be providing one-to-one support and advice for dads/male carers around family issues including family relationships. She will be involved in activities and events and will help Dads/male carers link up with others in their area. Susy will cover the Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Boothtown, Siddal, Southowram and Sowerby Bridge areas. To find out more, please give Susy a call on 07738 785646 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.’.

Children’s event was full of fun and games

Around 600 people attended an event run by The Halifax Opportunities Trust to celebrate International Children’s Day at The Outback Community Garden. Families enjoyed activities like a drumming circle, messy play, fruit kebabs and a dental healthcare puppet show. Other activities taking place included face painting, giant skittles, a treasure hunt, musical statues, a football penalty shootout and arts and crafts.

Alison Haskins, CEO of the Halifax Opportunities Trust said: “International Children’s Day is a celebration of children across the world and we like to mark that at Halifax Opportunities Trust. “We had over 600 people attend our event reflecting the diversity of the local community. What a fantastic way to celebrate children, in the sun and having fun”.

For more information visit the Halifax Courier website by clicking on the following link:

Nurseries are "outstanding"

Four of our day nurseries have now been rated as 'outstanding' by Ofsted. Siddal Children's Centre joins Sowerby New Road, Jubilee and Todmorden in Ofsted's top bracket. In it's report on Siddal, Ofsted said: "staff have high aspirations for all children and have a firm belief that all children are competent learners. "Consequently, all children thrive and excel in their learning. "Children's learning and independence are significantly enhanced because of staff's high quality, fun and motivating teaching and exemplary learning environment. The provider and staff at all levels have an exceptional and admirable passion and dedication to families."

Andrea Briggs, one of our three Children's Centre Delivery Managers said: "we are absolutely delighted that Ofsted have recognised the high standards of teaching, learning and care offered to children by our dedicated staff team." Our CEO Alison Haskin said: "this is testament to our focus on social outcomes and the passion of the team when it comes to supporting families in Calderdale. The Trust is incredibly grateful for the hard work and dedication of the entire Children's Centres staff, for the wonderful children that attend our nurseries and for the continued support of the parents and carers."

Click on the links to read the full Ofsted reports:

New Road Children's Centre Nursery, Sowerby Bridge click here

Jubilee Children's Centre Nursery - click here

Siddal Children's Centre Nursery - click here

Todmorden Children's Centre Nursery - click here


 'Blue Whale' social media game - WARNING to all parents/carers!

 Posted May 2017

'Blue Whale' is a dangerous new game that is played online and spreading through social media across Europe and into parts of the UK.

 NHS link to an interactive Healthy under 5’s page

Posted November 2016

Healthy Early Years is a newly created website, featuring downloadable content, along with a free mobile app packed with top tips to support parents, carers and frontline staff caring for children aged from 0-5 in Calderdale to be healthy, happy and safe: Launching on Tuesday 15th November, the resources have been developed by NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group and Calderdale Council in partnership with members of the public and local organisations as a major project within the Calderdale Vanguard.  Visit  


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