Shaping North Ayrshire process
The expansion in hours of early learning and childcare from 600 hours to 1140 hours has the potential to be one of the most transformational changes in early education in a generation. The benefits are already being experienced by families who are appreciating the impact of the funded meals for all children in our 1140 pilot sites and in the financial savings for those working families who have previously had to pay for additional childcare. Enhancements in learning and developmental outcomes I'm sure will follow. Its exciting times in ELC!
Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory should remain in our thinking as we continue to ensure that children in North Ayrshire have the best possible start in life; physiological, safety, belonging and love, social needs or esteem, and self-actualisation.
North Ayrshire are a 'nurturing' authority and many of the ideas you mentioned are threaded throughout the approach taken! It's great that nurture is a big part of schools & early years! It's also being used across NAC Services & the Health & Social Care Partnership !
Children from low income families who live in areas of North Ayrshire which are not considered strategic have significantly less opportunities. Facilities and amenities are centralised in strategic areas, making them inaccessible and unaffordable. They have to pay the cost of use AND transport for everything. Obviously you cant have every facility and amenity in every town. The NAC policy of putting all the facilities and amenities in a few strategic towns, and practically nothing in the others is not conducive to giving children the best start, middle or end to their lives.
In Localities with more than one settlement, share the facilities and amenities between the settlements. If North Ayrshire can only afford one of something, it doesnt always have to be in Irvine, which serves 29000 of a population, leaving 107,000 needing to travel to use it.
Pre Education glass for young children 4 years upwards settling in period play education lessons .making learning fun
My children had an enhanced range of learning activity at pre-school and school, through an active parent/teacher association, which provided many volunteering/helper opportunities in addition to the curriculum.
An honest and easy way to see how schools locally compare - open to all, not just parents, and the admission if schools in a particular area are not doing well that a problem exists. Not using poverty as an excuse for poor attainment.
Do health visitors/ social workers/ nursery and primary schools push aggressively the fact that children should be allowed outside to play? Are parents who deny their children access to the outside challenged? Is the myth that there is a pervert on every street corner and that "all men are b... ad" blown away?
During nursery years, It would also be a good idea for children to be exposed to outdoor i.e. visiting the town, the shops, the train, fire station, etc. It's through real life experiences that they will be able to have memorable and meaningful learning and get to know more about the place they live so that they have a sense of belonging and love for their community since childhood.
Plus, this means borrowing and parents don't need to spend so much money on toys and they can try before they buy, also it means having access to a great variety of toys and helping the environment as well.
As a parent, I think it would be great to have some sort of place where children can start socializinig at a young age before nursery years. It'd be of great importance that any child no matter their background, all of them have the same chances and opportunities to access play area. I have already submitted my idea of having a toy library in Kilwinning. A place where parents can borrow toys for kids depending of their abilities and skills they want to help out. For that, it would be good to have people working there who know about play and can advise which toys would be great for the child depending their needs. This could be encouraging language acquisition, working on social skills, gross and fine motor skills, etc.
A toy library with some classes where young parents can go would be amazing. Also you'd have the opportunity of meeting other parents and kids from other neighbourhoods and build a strong sense of community.
Gabriela, I agree and think a toy library should be looked at further.
We're really lucky in North Ayrshire to have so many partners, who are all committed to improving outcomes of children & young people locally! By working together better (& really understanding/sharing what we can all bring to the table) can allow us to make the biggest possible difference & ensure children in North Ayrshire have the best start in life. We can do more to strengthen our partnerships - tools like this can be a big help if we all buy in!
Absolutely, srobbie, and this is a great place to exchange ideas for more effective working. It would be good to hear from young people and parents what they think would work better for them.