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early intervention symposium with kate, duchess of cambridge - march 2018

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On Wednesday 21st March, The Duchess of Cambridge will convene a symposium on the importance of early intervention to provide solid social and emotional platforms for children in their early years, helping them to become healthier and more resilient later in life. It's great that this important issue is receiving high-profile recognition.

Our CEO, Sally Smith, has been invited to attend. This follows on from a roundtable discussion that Sally was part of earlier in March with the Duchess of Cambridge, and Oxford-based charities Family Links and Oxpip, on the importance of supporting families during a child’s early years. This is all part of the Royal Foundation's involvement in raising awareness about mental health. 

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge (photo: headstogether.org.uk)

new DfE-funded report 'home matters' published by the National Literacy Trust, NCB, Foundation Years Trust & Peeple - march 2018

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Our joint report focuses on the importance of supporting the home learning environment at a strategic and practical level, and on the range of ways that were put into practice as part of this project. It emphasises the need to raise awareness about how simple but effective it is to enhance the home learning environment. Read more or please read and share the report 'Home matters'.

peep learning together programme training for practitioners - next dates

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> Check dates and book a place - A two-day course to build on your skills and understanding in supporting parents/carers with their children's learning and development from birth to school, using the Peep Learning Together programme (LTP), including online access to the complete Programme (74 topics with 200+ session plans etc).

peeple's response to government's 'transforming children and young people's mental heath provision' green paper - march 2018

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The UK government asked for peoples' views on it's green paper 'Transforming Children and Young People's Mental Health Provision'. There is concern amongst some charities and experts in child development that the paper, which will influence government policy, ignores the impact of childhood adversity and social deprivation. Psychologists for Social Change have written an open letter detailing their concerns about the Green paper.
> Here is Peeple's response.

paloma faith - babies and 'truths'

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You might be one of the half a million people who’ve seen the clip of a recent interview with Paloma Faith talking about the realities of motherhood. Her experiences make a great case for the importance of groups like Peep, both for creating a safe space to talk openly about the highs and lows of being a parent with people who understand what you’re going through, and also to share child development information and ideas (including the fact that babies CAN see from birth, contrary to Paloma’s misunderstanding…). Follow the link for Peeple's take on it.

singing across the generations

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Find out about Susannah's Chambers presentation on singing across the generations at the University of Portsmouth's Organisational Storytelling seminar - including the benefits of singing for people with dementia, and how Peep groups with older people can be a win-win for everyone. Susannah is the Project Manager for the Learning Together Study

short ORIM film

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The Peep Learning Together Programme is based on the ORIM Framework. ORIM stands for Opportunities, Recognition, Interaction and a Model. It provides a way of working with parents which recognises and values all they already do, and then extends these things to support parents to do more. The guiding principle is that all parents provide the four elements of ORIM and that once this is recognised and celebrated, they can be encouraged to do so more meaningfully, purposely and frequently.

The ORIM film shares the origins of the ORIM Framework and how it is used to support children and families. 

minister for childcare and early years launches early intervention fund report at baby peep group

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A report announced today highlights the tremendous achievements of over 100 Scottish charities working with children, young people, families and communities. In just a 12-month period, over 1 million people have been helped thanks to a £15m Scottish Government Fund. This has been administered and supported by the Corra Foundation, one of Scotland’s leading grant-makers whose vision is for a society in which people create positive change and enjoy fulfilling lives.

 Mr Mark McDonald, Minister for Childcare and Early Years launched the report at a Baby Peep Learning Together group at Mayfield Nursery, Midlothian.

Dr Sally Smith (CEO, Peeple) said ‘The Fund has been vital in increasing our capacity to support home learning, parental employability and to develop the early years workforce across Scotland.  It is wonderful, through local partnerships, to support children and their families to have the best possible start.’

Mr McDonald stated, ‘Tackling inequality and creating opportunities for all are at the heart of this government’s ambition to create a fairer Scotland.  The third sector is vital in helping us achieve that ambition. The CYPFEI/ALEC[1] fund’s annual report, published today, demonstrates the diverse range of early intervention and prevention activities that are benefitting thousands of Scotland’s most disadvantaged children, young people, families and communities.’


[1] The Children, Young People and Families Early Intervention and Adult Learning and Empowering Communities Fund

scottish minister for childcare and early years visits peep aberdeen

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In January 2017, Mark McDonald, Minister for Early Learning and Childcare, and MSP for Aberdeen Donside, and Councillor Angela Taylor met with the Aberdeen Peep team and Peep parents, carers and children. Both visitors enjoyed joining in with a Peep Babies group, and learning about the Peep Learning Together Programme. In Aberdeen, the Peep Programme is part of Children and Families Social Work. Examples of local practice include: Peep delivery with parents/carers of care-experienced children; Peep with parents/carers experiencing low mood; and Learning Together Programme training for all Contact Centre staff.

peep learning together programme highlighted in education scotland's review of family learning

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The first Review of Family Learning in Scotland assessed research evidence, case studies and consulted with partners, to see what works well in Scotland, and internationally. The Peep Learning Together Programme and Peep Progression Pathway are included as a case study in the section 'What Excellent Family Learning Looks Like'. 

The Review's Executive Summary defines the significance of Family Learning as 'supporting, equipping and building capacity amongst Scotland’s parents - to capitalise on children’s opportunities for learning is key in raising attainment and closing the poverty-related attainment gap. A family learning approach can also be a catalyst in helping adults take up adult learning and training opportunities, gain employment or attain new skills. This in turn positively impacts on children’s individual attainment, their aspirations and personal learning journey.'  This focus on both the child's learning opportunities and those of the parent - in their own right, as an adult learner - is one which Peeple advocates and demonstrates in Peep delivery.

supporting the home learning environment in melbourne

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In February 2017, Sally Smith our CEO, and Peep trainers Marie and Lisa went to Melbourne, Australia to work with the Brotherhood of St Lawrence, an Australian not-for-profit organisation. The Brotherhood are about to pilot a new project called Growing Learners which brings together a number of evidence-based programmes to support some of the most disadvantaged families in the state of Victoria. They conducted an international search for an early intervention programme focusing on the home learning environment which incorporates adult qualifications and employability routes. They reported that only the Peep Learning Together Programme fitted the bill!

Peep in Oz!

Marie takes being 'Down Under' a touch too literally!

the need for accessible quality childcare

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The Family and Childcare Trust and Joseph Rowntree Foundation have published their report: Creating an anti-poverty childcare system. The report contrasts the research evidence and policies - which say that high quality childcare improves outcomes for children - with the reality of our current system which is failing to deliver for the poorest families. The report highlights that:

  • only half of eligible two-year olds receive their entitlement to free childcare in a graduate-led setting (an important indicator of quality)
  • families in the poorest areas are the least likely to have access to flexible childcare, which restricts opportunities for parents to work or access training
  • the system of support for the cost of childcare is complicated for parents and fails to incentivise those on low incomes to work.

The report recommends:

  • investment in a more qualified early years workforce, paid in line with staff in schools who currently earn up to 68 per cent more
  • investment in local services to deliver an entitlement to flexible daycare
  • more of the state subsidies directed at service providers, as the most effective way to deliver access to high quality childcare.

Dr. Sally Smith, Chief Executive of Peeple, welcomes the report. She says:

“There is no question that better quality and more accessible and affordable childcare will directly improve child outcomes and provide the means to allow families to work their way out of poverty. Quality settings also engage effectively with parents to support them with ideas and information about how they can encourage their children’s learning and development as part of everyday life at home – because the home learning environment makes a big difference to how well children do.”

“However quality doesn’t come cheap – early years professionals need excellent training, not just in working with children but also with parents – and they need to be paid fairly. This is simply impossible with the current level of funding for childcare. If the recommendations in this excellent report are to be met, then the Government needs to move beyond its rhetoric about the importance of early years and make a serious investment in our sector.” 

plans for little peeple day nursery

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We are working in partnership with The Oxford Academy in our plans to build a day nursery within the Academy's grounds, near where the Peeple Centre is already located. There is an urgent demand for nursery places for 2 year olds in our area (Blackbird Leys, Northfield Brook, Littlemore and Rose Hill in south Oxford), with a 58% shortfall. You can read more in an Oxford Mail article.

The nursery will provide places for 44 children, from babies to three year olds, from local families and school staff. It will welcome local families into the heart of the local secondary school grounds, with plenty of outdoor space for the children to play. According to the Academy's head teacher, Niall McWilliams, "We have got a real belief in the community here and we want to make sure that high-quality education is provided from pre-school all the way up to 16." It will also complement and extend our Peep work with local families in this area over the past twenty years, including our Peep Pre-school that opened in Greater Leys in January 2015.