Peep delivery has been happening in Midlothian since 2005. During that time, many Peep parents have gone on to become Peep practitioners/ leaders and/or gone on to further education themselves. Here are three of the most recent parents to do so, talking about their experience of Peep as a parent, then about what they went on to do:
Kim Vass: “A friend told me about Peep and I started taking my little boy along to a group. We both really enjoyed the activities and I know that Peep made a positive difference to our lives. I’m a mum to three and have always enjoyed playing with them but at the group I learned so much about how important I am as my child's first educator and the importance of play at home. I am more in tune with my little boy and what helps him learn. Since going to Peep everyone at home takes it in turn to read a bedtime story to our youngest child.
The Peep Learning Together Programme training for practitioners was suggested to me by my Peep leader. I undertook the training and have been voluntarily delivering Peep groups to build my confidence and experience in working with children and families. Attending the training was a fantastic experience for me. I found a new enthusiasm for learning which motivated me to complete a National Certificate in Childhood Practice and am currently working towards my Higher National Certificate in Childhood Practice.
When I graduate, I would like to work as a Childcare and Development Worker and would possibly like to continue studying to complete the Level 8 course. I feel really proud of myself and what I have achieved through attending Peep. I'm on my way to starting a new career and making a real difference to children's lives, enhancing and supporting their learning experiences.”
Update: Kim has now graduated and successfully gained employment as a Childcare and Development Worker in an Early Learning and Childcare setting in Midlothian. Congratulations Kim!!
Claire Philip: "I saw a poster advertising Peep at my little girl's nursery when she was 3 years old so we went along to the group and as a result so much has changed!
Since attending Peep, I have lots more ideas about how to play using everyday household items and how play benefits a child's development. I know that opportunities to learn are all around and by using the opportunities I can help my daughter's personal and social development.
My daughter enjoyed lots of activities at Peep and I felt very happy to see her gain confidence over the months.
At the end of our Peep group I had the opportunity to complete the Peep Progression Pathway course and to support the running of a Peep group. I then attended the Peep Learning Together Programme Training and this led to me applying for a post with Midlothian Council as a Peep Leader – I was successful!
To have the confidence to make a complete change in career is a real achievement for me. The Peep Progression Pathway course and the Learning Together Programme helped me become a better parent by supporting my learning and understanding of what a child needs. I realised that I loved the learning and wanted to do more. Being a Peep leader is a fantastic experience and I am so happy to be able to share the joy of Peep with other parents and children.”
Sarah O’Flaherty: “I heard about Peep from a local childminder and contacted the Peep Co-ordinator to ask for a space at my local group. I started going along when my child was six months old and attended for around six months too!
I also completed the Peep Progression Pathway course during this time. I see a big difference in how I am as a parent. I recognise my child’s playing is an important part of learning. I didn’t realise when my little one was making a mess on their high chair with food that she was discovering new things and this is one of the first forms of mark making. I am more relaxed and aware of simple ways to help my child develop well. My child loved the Peep group too.
After the Pathway course I volunteered at a Peep group, assisting with the running of the group. This was great experience and helped my confidence grow. When I returned to my professional job after maternity leave I decided to retrain and change careers. I attended the Peep Learning Together Programme training to become a Peep Leader. Now, two and a half years later, I have new skills and more confidence as a parent and a Peep leader! I am now employed by Midlothian Council as a Peep leader. I have recently completed the Peep Antenatal Programme training which supported me to further develop my skills with families during pregnancy.”