Children from deprived areas to spend more time with family under new scheme

Children from areas that are designated as deprived are being offered a chance to take a bit of time off from the typical classroom setting and spend some time with their family as part of a new £2m scheme titled the Best Start Lancashire project. The scheme is open to children that are currently in year one or two of classes or reception and will be open to students whose parents can coordinate their participation with staff at Sure Start centres.

The Lancashire County Council developed the project in an effort to improve the development and learning of children by helping to foster deeper emotional bonds between the children and their family members while also help parents to work on their parenting skills.

The scheme is targeted at pupils that are recognized as deprived by their free school meal status and was set up in an effort to get better foundation stage results and to help improve attendance across primary schools in Lancashire.

Families can take advantage of many different courses that include parenting workshops, children’s sessions, and courses that take place at the children’s centre or school both during and outside of typical school times all of which focus on building and improving literacy, speech, communication, and language. Another aim of the project is to help improve confidence, self-esteem, and resilience of the children and parents involved.

Funding for the scheme is the result of savings that the county council made throughout the year with Director of Specialized Services, Louise Taylor, stating that Best Start is aimed in particular at parents of school children that are between the ages of four to seven and meet the guidelines for free meals at school.