PACEY has been awarded a grant for 2015-16 of £350,000 from the Department for Education, as part of its Voluntary and Community Sector procurement programme.
The money will be used to launch the association’s Starting School Together project, to help improve children’s transition from childcare into full-time compulsory education, focussing particularly on disadvantaged children, and children from BME communities. The project builds on findings from a survey of parents, conducted by PACEY last year, that revealed a high level of anxiety among parents around their child starting school, and that one in four (23%) felt they received too little information from schools and local authorities.
Teachers, childcare professionals and families will work together on the project across four pilot sites initially. Families will be supported with toys and resources, face-to-face meetings and online support to help their children prepare to start school. It is hoped that this approach will then be rolled out as a model of best practice to encourage greater partnership between early years settings and schools across England.
Liz Bayram, PACEY Chief Executive, said: “Thanks to the DfE’s support, Starting School Together is a fantastic opportunity to build on all the excellent practice in many early years settings and schools who already work together to ensure children’s transition into reception class gives them the best start at school.
PACEY is looking forward to working with its partners in Cambridgeshire and North Yorkshire to develop a new toolkit that supports nurseries, childminders and schools to work collaboratively to support children and their families at this key stage in a child’s life.
It will also support childcare professionals and teachers to work together, building mutual respect and understanding at a local level.”
94 grants were made in total to a wide range of children’s organisations, as part of the Department of Education’s programme.