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Baby and toddler groups permitted to run during second lockdown

As if the arrival of a new baby or day to day care of a young child isn’t already difficult enough to navigate, this year we’ve had to contend with it during a global pandemic. Talk about major life changes!

Having a strong support network is so important to new parents, and while the prospect of this winter may seem a bit bleak with most shops, pubs and restaurants closed and socialising at others’ homes off the cards temporarily during this second lockdown, the silver lining is that under current government guidance baby and toddler groups are still allowed to meet in accordance with Covid guidelines.

For Les Petits Tigres, the first lockdown earlier this year brought about a transition to offering French classes for ages five and under online. This was unfamiliar territory at first, however we’re pleased to say that with a few adjustments the class format works extremely well! It’s amazing to be able to see children respond and speak directly to them via Zoom, and this interactive element helped us to retain the same feeling and social connection as attending an in person class as opposed to a video recording or a live broadcast. As the summer’s lockdown lifted we cautiously proceeded to return to venues in September with Covid safe measures in place such as wearing a mask in the venue until seated in class, reduced class sizes and social distancing, no sharing of instruments, hand sanitising upon arrival and thorough cleaning of everything before and after sessions.

During this second lockdown, classes are permitted to continue and we are still operating in our venues which are remaining open. We are also still running online for those who prefer to stay at home or are self-isolating.

The government has recognised the important support role that baby and toddler groups provide to parents and carers, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be able to continue to provide this service. With the lockdown comes increased risks to mental health for both children and adults including isolation, loneliness, stress, threatened sense of safety and stability, lack of routine and PTSD.

Getting out of the house with your little one, participating in an activity together and seeing others (in a socially distanced fashion, of course) all have a positive impact on mental health. Participating in activities with your little one supports parent/carer and child bonding. It also facilitates meeting other parents and carers, which enhances social support networks and helps to reduce social isolation. Music is good for the soul, known to be a mood lifter as well as a way to reduce stress and enhance wellbeing. And speaking another language isn’t only beneficial to your little one; learning a new skill helps adults to increase self-confidence and self-esteem.

Les Petits Tigres French language classes for ages five and under are currently running face-to-face classes for parents/carers and little ones in venues across South London in Battersea, Bermondsey, Greenwich and Nunhead as well as live stream Zoom sessions online. So be kind to yourself, join a class and boost your mental well being!

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