Contacts

Big Hopes Big Future

Big Hopes, Big Future - supporting parents and their children to be 'ready for school'

‘Big Hopes Big Future’ (BHBF) recognises the importance of family background and home environment on children’s readiness for school and learning. It helps prepare parents and children make the transition to nursery and/or school. ‘BHBF’ will address the needs of parents who lack confidence or feel alienated from education to engage with their children’s learning via a volunteer led individualised programme of support.

‘Big Hopes Big Future’ supports children in the years prior to nursery and primary school who:

  • lack confidence and/or understanding of how to engage
  • lack the resources (books/toys etc) needed to support their children’s learning
  • feel alienated from the education system and services
  • are socially isolated
  • have chaotic lifestyles
  • have practical barriers to overcome – i.e. poor health, disability, English not a first language.

BHBF aims and outcomes

Aims of project:

  • Help parents understand the benefits of early learning for their children and overcome the barriers to their engagement
  • Encourage parents to create a positive home learning environment for their children
  • Build parents confidence to engage with other appropriate services, e.g. children’s centres, schools, nurseries, child care professionals and specialist support, where appropriate
  • Embed learning carried out in external settings (e.g. children’s centres / nurseries) in the home
  • Help parents manage the transition into nursery and school
  • Identify and support parents’ own learning needs.

Scheme objectives

Develop confidence and ability of parents to create a positive home learning environment for their children and support their early learning.

Support children to prepare for the transition into nursery/school and start nursery/school ready to learn.
Develop skills and knowledge of volunteers to provide support for other parents in their community and help them create positive home learning environments for their children.

Key outcomes

  1. Children more able to engage with nursery / school life
  2. Parents more engaged with their children’s early learning
  3. Volunteers more engaged in promoting home based early learning

Outcome 1: Children more able to engage with nursery / school life

  • Books and age appropriate games and toys and equipment in house
  • Routine bed times and meal times established
  • Regular household routines established
  • Children have increased social opportunities
  • Children accessing pre-school child care
  • Children have one to one time with parents
  • Children referred to and access appropriate specialist services (e.g. speech and language) if needed.

Outcome 2: Parents more engaged with their children’s early learning

  • Parents reading and engaging in play regularly with children
  • Parents reinforcing and giving positive encouragement
  • Parental contact with nurseries/schools established
  • Parents using local library
  • Parents more confident in seeking help/advice and accessing other services
  • Parents seeking support for their own needs
  • Increased parental social networks.

Outcome 3: Volunteers more engaged in promoting home based early learning

  • Opportunities for training and volunteering for parents
  • Positive engagement with children’s education providers
  • Volunteers take up training and development opportunities that increase their knowledge, skills and effectiveness

What do we mean by ‘readiness for school’?

Home readiness:

  • Availability of stimulating materials in the home
  • Good bedtime/morning routines

Parental readiness:

  • Able to access appropriate early years services
  • Able to establish routines
  • Able to engage with their child’s development

Child Readiness:

  • Arrive at school fed and on time
  • Play and share with other children
  • Use the toilet
  • Understand simple hygiene
  • Dress and put on shoes
  • Eat and drink unaided
  • Cope away from their parent(s)
  • Recognise own name.