Learn and play for free

  • 27
  • Sep

Did you know that your two year-old could be getting free early learning at a high-quality local nursery or with a childminder?

If you are unemployed or earning a low wage, or if your child has a special educational need, you could get up to 570 hours a year for your child to learn, play and make friends. It will give you some much-needed time as well!

Maurilaine, Yasmin’s mum, is in no doubt about the difference the scheme has made to her family: “It has allowed Yasmin to play with other children, build confidence and learn English as we speak Portuguese and Spanish at home. And she is much more confident making friends.”

While Yasmin has been at nursery, Maurilaine has been able to work and study accountancy. “It’s helped me build confidence. I feel safe knowing that she’s in a safe place,” she said.

Free early learning helps children to be school-ready and the benefits carry right through the school years. Children who have experienced free early learning at age two understand more and have better language and social skills at age three than those who have missed out.

Maurilaine understands that some parents might be nervous about their young child leaving the home, but she says that staff were really helpful settling in Yasmin. Charmaine, Yasmin’s keyworker, explains: “We were able to help mum with the settling in period by showing her photos and sharing what Yasmin had done during the day. She could see that Yasmin was thriving!”

Maurilaine was reassured because: “The staff at the centre are lovely, friendly, helpful people – so patient and kind. I could see that if Yasmin cried, they would hold and comfort her as if she were their child.

“I would say to parents: let them play, let them experience life for themselves, let them go!”

For further information, contact the Family Information Service on 020 7527 5959 or visit the Islington Council website.

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