Our on-site crèche is just downstairs from the classroom and flows into a safe, enclosed garden space. It is open to a maximum of 6 children between 6 months and 4 years of age, and particularly serves the childcare needs of the course attendees as they learn. It is staffed by a qualified multilingual team that will give children individual attention and help them settle in.
Crèche opening times
Monday - Wednesday 10.00am - 1.00pm
Term time only
As Director, Gina is responsible for running The Parent House and ensuring that it stays true to what makes it unique. Day to day, that means raising funds and liaising with stakeholders and trustees, all the while staying connected to the parents and the charity's operations. The vision hasn’t changed in 15 years: ‘We wanted all parents to have access to these opportunities, no matter what their background was, what school their children went to, or what skills they had’. Gina was a social worker before helping set up The Parent House and has always been passionate about equal opportunity and its impact on the next generation.
Linda has been running training courses and workshops in The Parent House classroom since 2004. She has developed a unique approach to class teaching, drawing on the relatively unusual combination of experience gained from 10 years at Winton Primary School and 12 years of teaching Chinese to adults. Linda’s classes put as much focus on emotional guidance as on the syllabus itself, and she believes that this contextual understanding of parents’ lives is a key point of difference of being a tutor at The Parent House. She points to educational theorist Carl Rogers’ concept of ‘unconditional positive regard’ as a key influence in her classroom practice. ‘Everything we do has a therapeutic edge’, says Linda.
Momtaj looks after the young children in the crèche while their parents learn upstairs. She has been looking after children for most of her adult life, as a registered childminder for Islington council and for the past 7 years as a crèche worker at The Parent House.
Momtaj returned to education herself as a young mother to gain the qualifications she needed (Level 3 Childcare and Education), so she understands the unique benefit of having an on-site crèche more than anyone: ‘It doesn’t just mean that parents can attend the course, but that they can relax into it knowing their child is safe just downstairs’.
Mirjam is a Mentor Supervisor, which means she is responsible for ‘mentoring the mentors’: assisting them in their new, sometimes daunting, roles. She makes sure they are managing their mentee relationships comfortably and is on hand for practical assistance or sometimes a much needed chat. She has a growing group of mentors to look after and a new batch of recruits twice a year so is on hand almost full time. Mirjam has been working at The Parent House for 10 years now. When she can, she also works in the crèche, a space she feels at home being the location she chose to complete her placement on her Level 3 Childcare and Education course.
As Parent Support Manager, Jyoti’s influence and care extends throughout the mentoring system. She is a guiding hand both for the Mentor Supervisors and their mentors, making sure that everyone has a network of people they can turn to for advice. Prior to her current role, Jyoti was formerly a prison officer, an Employment Officer, a parent support officer on a youth offending team and a Parent Support Worker at Barnardo’s. Despite her breadth of experience, Jyoti feels she is still learning from mentors and mentees alike: ‘No matter what you’re doing, you’re always learning every day. Everyone is treated equally no matter their role because we are all learning from each other’.
Anita’s job title hints at just some of the hats she wears at The Parent House. As Premises and Crèche Coordinator she not only makes sure that everyone is safe on site but also organises events, inducts new teachers and is resident tech expert. It was IT that brought her here in the first place, after a computer course led to a course in childcare. When it came to needing a placement in 2001, her daughter’s primary school pointed her next door and she has never left. For Anita, ‘it’s about high standards and a good working environment. It’s amazing to see people doing things for themselves.’
A former mentee and mentor herself, Aki knows what it takes and what it means to be a mentor for local parents. She now applies that experience by helping other new recruits through the system, supporting and advising them on the way. Having an approach that is fed by the experiences of the parents that it has helped, is part of what makes The Parent House unique and what keeps it relevant. Aki is very proud to be part of that system, and so are we.
Christine is in charge of the day-to-day smooth running of The Parent House in her role looking after all things admin. She was one of our very first volunteers, and was involved in setting up The Parent House. It was taking some computer courses here that led to her employment in the first place, courses that also enabled her to successfully complete her ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence). Having previously worked for over 10 years as a teaching assistant in a local primary school, Christine really feels the positive impact The Parent House has in the borough: ‘it’s a unique place to meet other people and it’s always improving.’ She balances her office duties with working in the crèche.
The training room, just upstairs from the crèche, hosts classes of between 8 and 14 parents every day of the week. It is also available for hire, please contact us if you are interested.
Downstairs at The Parent House is our communal kitchen and social area which we use for meetings, tea mornings and lunches.
The garden is sheltered and provides a safe space for children to play in and a wonderful environment for parent social events in the summer.
The computer room is for parents to use as they need it; job hunting, submitting applications and forms and for any other important personal admin.