Register to take part in an exciting research project with family lives
I have been contacted by family lives, a charity launching a new home visiting project in our area, which aims to give South Yorkshire pre-schoolers the best start in life.
The new project, which aims to prepare disadvantaged preschool children for school is being launched by the charity in partnership with South Yorkshire Futures and South Yorkshire’s local authorities.
They are working together to deliver a programme called ParentChild+ to around 160 disadvantaged families in South Yorkshire. ParentChild+ aims to improve the home-learning environment for families who are not taking up the offer of free nursery for their two-year-olds, and those where children are at risk of being behind their peers in terms of school readiness. Home visits by trained workers will occur twice a week for 15 months, with every family receiving at least 92 visits. Home visitors take a free toy or book with them each week. During the sessions, home visitors demonstrate with parents and children how to read, talk and play together. The activities aim to increase parent-child interaction, promote positive behaviour and encourage literacy skills which help to prepare the child for school.
The launch of this project in South Yorkshire will test the effectiveness of the programme in the UK. Funded by the Education Endowment Fund, the Department for Education, and Shine Trust, the trial will be evaluated by a team from the University of York, Durham University and Leeds Beckett University.
The project will work with South Yorkshire’s four local authorities to identify families who are eligible for, but not taking up, the entitlement to free childcare for disadvantaged two-year-olds, including ‘children in need’. It is supported by South Yorkshire Futures who assisted with the development of the bid and will facilitate partnerships, provide resources and carry out additional research on the impact the programme is having.
To register to take part in Doncaster, contact Tina Cranshaw 07725 630309/TinaC@familylives.org.uk
To register to take part in Barnsley, contact Amy Wilson 07971 253000/AmyW@familylives.org.uk
To register to take part in Rotherham, contact Laura Ellison 07971 253002/LauraE@familylives.org.uk
To register to take part in Sheffield, contact Sara Mohammed 07971 253303/SaraM@familylives.co.uk
Home visitors will be employed by Family Lives and work with Early Years teams at Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley councils.
Research from the US shows intervening at pre-school age is more effective than targeting children when they start school.
The project has been delivered extensively in the US since 1965 and also in Chile, Bermuda, Canada and Ireland. It is currently being piloted in the UK in Ealing, Nottingham and Newcastle. Get an idea of what it’s all about from the ParentChild+ Video…
Sally Pearse, who leads the early years education strand for South Yorkshire Futures at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “I am delighted that this exciting initiative which has had proven success in the US is being trialled in South Yorkshire. “Children’s experiences in the first few years of their life have a major impact on their development and this project will help tackle the disadvantage experienced by some children in South Yorkshire by trying to address some of the attainment gaps already apparent between children of different backgrounds by the time they start school.”