Scheme launched to help low income families achieve their potential
Britain’s Department for Education (DfE) is encouraging Bangladeshi parents to consider taking up the opportunity of free early education and childcare for their two-year-old children.
The scheme enables families with an income of less than £16,190 per year from either work or benefits to apply for 15 hours of free early education and childcare a week.
If eligible, families can take advantage of one of the approved child-minders, nurseries or children’s centres operating in their local area. Only nurseries and child-minders with ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Ofsted reports are able to offer places.
Amongst parents already signed up to the scheme is 39-year-old mother-of-three Aysha Haque from Southwark.
After coming across information in regard to the initiative at her local library, Aysha called up her local Family Information Service to learn more about the process and was promptly sent a form to complete and return.
Upon hearing she was eligible for the free childcare, she says it was an easy decision to give her youngest child the ‘best start’ in life.
“My daughter had got used to me taking her to the local toddler groups but I felt like she needed something to make her more independent and help her development as she was just watching TV and playing with the same toys at home,” she explained.
“[Since starting her early education] there have been lots of positive changes. My daughter is more talkative and can form long sentences.
“She has learnt manners…she even reminds us if we forget to say please or thank-you. She has also developed great social skills and in particular – learnt how to share and to take turns which has had a positive impact at home with her siblings.”
Early education at the age of two has been proven to give children a good start in life, making them more likely to enjoy and do well at school.
The DfE is committed to raising awareness and encouraging more Bangladeshi parents who are eligible to take up the offer and choose between a local nursery, children’s centre or a registered child-minder.