On average a UK child has just 1,277 days between birth and starting nursery education. Together, we want to 'make them count' for the children, for their families and for the toddler groups that they attend.
1277 exists to develop and implement a National Strategy to support church-based toddler groups and their associated activities. Our vision is to see universal access to excellent, safe, Christian toddler groups which are demonstrating Godís love at the heart of their communities.
We believe that...
- Every person is created in and reflects Godís image.
- God intended each person become whole and live life to the full.
- The first 1,277 days of life are when critical foundations are laid.
- The church has a unique opportunity and responsibility at this time.
Affirming, Resourcing & Nurturing
Equipping and encouraging leaders and churches to play their part in:
- Nurturing children holistically.
- Supporting parents and carers.
- Building strong, confident families.
- Transforming communities.
- Signposting to existing resources and filling the gaps as necessary.
- Providing and promoting enrichment opportunities for toddler group leaders and their teams e.g. training days, local networks, conferences and newsletters.
- Articulating and encouraging good practice within toddler groups and churches.
- Raising awareness of effective strategies for confident parenting.
- Raising awareness of effective strategies for developing spirituality and faith for toddlers and parents/carers.
Advocacy and developing
- Developing prayer support for toddler groups.
- Mapping existing Christian toddler groups within the British Isles and researching to demonstrate their value, including surfacing, collating and celebrating stories of good practice.
- Promoting the value of toddler groups to church leaders that they may better support existing groups, embracing them into the life and mission of the church, and see the potential for new ones.
- Engaging with government and statutory bodies at national level and resourcing individual groups to engage at local level to gain recognition for the impact of and affirm the value of Christian toddler groups within the community.
1277 emerged in 2009 as a response to the need for more comprehensive and coordinated support for church-based toddler groups.
Prior to this date, each denomination and a few non-denominational organisations were providing information and resources to their own groups. When a collaboration in 2008 produced 'Building Blocks' (a training resource for toddler group leaders), it was so popular that they agreed to expand the collaboration and widen their vision so as to develop a National Strategy for Christian Toddler Groups.
Since then, 1277 has collated, reviewed and promoted the resources available to toddler group leaders and has encouraged member organisations to produce new material where necessary. We have supplied expert speakers for many national and local events ranging from Playtime conferences and the 'Toddler Group Rocks!' training days to local seminars and 'Big Society' discussion forums.
The 1277 prayer initiative has resulted in the designation of the last Sunday in National Family Week as a ĎDay of Prayer for Toddler Groupsí.
Through our 'Adopt an MP' scheme, 1277 has provided a much needed voice for toddler groups in the media and in the political arena.