Funding for projects to improve children's life chances

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A consortium of education and children’s charities has received a share of DfE funding to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children.

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The consortium will work together to promote the role of home-learning

The consortium of four charities - The National Literacy Trust, National Children’s Bureau (NCB), Peeple and the Foundation Years Trust – have been awarded £430,000 from the Department for Education, funding which was announced last week, to deliver projects to support families and practitioners to improve the home learning environments of children from six disadvantaged communities in England.

The National Literacy Trust will work in Bradford and Leicester to identify and train champions from nurseries to support families with two-year-olds to improve their home learning environments and gain the confidence to support their child’s development.

Another of the projects, being delivered by the NCB in areas of Sussex and Knowsley, will be based upon an adapted model of the Raising Early Achievement in Literacy (REAL) approach developed by Cathy Nutbrown and Pete Hannon from the University of Sheffield. Under the project, children and families will be invited by their nurseries, schools and children’s centres to participate in a series of home visits and literacy events.

Peeple and the Foundation Years Trust will work together to deliver the Peep Learning Together programme in nurseries and community settings across the Wirral and Oxfordshire. The programme, which is currently being delivered in other parts of the country, is designed to promote and build upon parents’ skills to support their child’s development, through demonstrating fun ways that learning can be incorporated into everyday life at home.

The consortium of charities will also promote the role of the home learning environment and the key role of parents more widely.

Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust, said, ‘Early childhood is a period of rapid growth and development, and what children learn in the early years provides the foundation for later learning and health. We are delighted to be working with the National Children’s Bureau, Peeple and the Foundation Years Trust to support parents to become their child’s first educator. Working together, we can create a more level playing field for all children growing up in England today.’

Frank Field MP, chairman of the Foundation Years Trust, said, ‘The funding from DfE to support programmes around the home learning is a great start towards what we hope will become a standard part of early years education. I am delighted the consortium has the opportunity to demonstrate that, through helping parents to support their children’s development, we can start to create a fairer society for everyone.’

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