With an overarching aim of improving school readiness we support parents and carers to encourage and help their child’s learning and development so that our early year’s children have the skills they need to start their formal education journey.

Working with families of children from pre-birth up to the age of 5 years old we offer a range of universal and targeted interventions either independently or in partnership with our health colleagues.

Information, advice and guidance

Tracking and follow-up processes allow us to make regular contact with families accessing our services throughout the life course of their child. Whether that be through specific projects like the A2YO offer or families that have accessed targeted interventions. We endeavor to maintain contact at least once every 3 months, enabling us to share key messages as well ensuring families are aware of their child’s early years education entitlement and supporting with transition.

We have a digital offer via our Facebook Page where universal messages and activities are shared that enable parents and carers to support their children’s learning through play. This also provides a tool for families to engage with us as we regularly facilitate challenges and interactive campaigns.

Literacy pathway

Early literacy development begins in the first three years of life and is closely linked to a child’s earliest experiences with books, stories, songs and rhymes.

A network of professionals, at key contacts with parents, gift books along with positive messages about the importance of reading and singing, in order to educate them on how to nurture early literacy skills in their babies and young children and support the acquisition of reading skills.

Interventions

Play & Learn Together

Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children’s learning and studies show that what parents do with their children at home has a significant impact on their long term academic outcomes.

Based on this premise we have developed an intervention, based on activities that are evidenced to have the biggest impact i.e.

–  Reading, sharing books and going to the library

–  Playing with print

–  Singing songs & nursery rhymes

–  Drawing & painting (making meaningful marks)

It explains to parents about how young children learn and develop and helps them build on what they are already doing at home to support their child’s learning. It develops their confidence and equips them with the skills, practical guidance and encouragement about the things they can do at home to improve learning outcomes. Tips and key messages are shared at each contact.

Chat, Play, Read, Sing

Direct work with parents/carers which aims to help them understand the significance of talking, playing, reading and singing to their child and how they can support this and fit it in to their daily routine and includes –

–  Sharing Tips

–  Giving strategies

–  Showing that it’s not something extra to do

A self-evaluation tool is used for parents/carers to scale their confidence and frequency of chatting, playing, reading and singing in the home which provides a current picture of what the home learning environment is like and identifies the areas of focus for the intervention.

Key messages are shared and goals are set for the family to focus on in the coming week and we look at how they can fit it in to their daily routine. Feedback is shared and the next contact.

Early Years Parenting Workshops

The 4 week Early Years Workshops have been developed specifically for families with children under 5 years old. They provide a way to engage parents and offer strategies and ideas to improve family life and children’s development in a non-stigmatizing approach that gives them ideas to try at home. They enable parents to build on pre-existing parenting skills and discover new ones. Parents will learn how to look after their own emotional needs, so they can parent more effectively. Session are offered via WhatsApp or via telephone calls. Parent will receive a copy of The Parenting Puzzle book to accompany the workshops.

Henry

(Healthy Exercise and Nutrition in the Really Young)

The Henry programme is a childhood obesity prevention programme that supports families with young children to develop health lifestyles. It is an evidenced based universal service for families with children 0-5 years delivered across 8 sessions. Parents complete a pre and post questionnaire which helps to them to reflect on the changes they make.

The programme aims to:

–  Increase parent’s knowledge and skills in healthy eating and understanding the benefits of this.

–  Improve parent efficacy (by increasing their belief in their capabilities as a parent)

–  Improve healthy family eating behaviours and increased consumption of fruit and vegetables

–  Promote emotional wellbeing to support families to develop healthy lifestyle habits, including relation to food, activity and daily routines

This can be delivered flexibly to families on a 1-1 basis or within a group setting and Virtual delivery has been developed and is working well. Parents or carers will receive a pack which includes a Healthy Families – Right from the Start handbook and supporting resources