Assisted Nursery Scheme

About the Scheme

The Assisted Nursery Scheme enables families to create positive changes.

This Scheme funds a part-time nursery place for 2-3 year olds whose parents are looking to make positive changes to the challenges that they are facing.

The free nursery place aims to provide an incentive to parents who, by agreeing to this referral, also agree to take part in certain services* that create opportunities for them to make positive changes to their family lives.

*What we mean by ‘services’ – these are any professional learning and development opportunities for parents who can then make positive changes to themselves, their relationship and family life.

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If I won the lottery, I'd use the money to help more families have the amazing help I had.

Parent - Assisted Nursery Scheme January 16, 2017

Who is eligible?

Children who are eligible for referral for September 2017 must be turning 3 between 1st September 2017 and 31st August 2018.

The child’s family must be on a low to middle income and at the point where they are able to begin to identify some changes that they might wish to make, with some further learning and support.

Families accessing the Maternal and Early Sustained Home Visiting (MECSH) Project with Family Nursing and Home Care can apply to this Scheme if they have or have had good engagement with the MECSH Project.

How to Apply

Only professionals can refer families to this Scheme.

Applications are invited from May, each year and must be completed by the professional with the parent or parents.

Next steps

A panel is set up to award places to families and meets in early July, each year.  The panel is made up of representatives from the Trust, Brighter Futures, a Day Nursery, a Preschool and Family Nursing and Home Care.

Once decisions are made, a letter will go out to the family within one week with a copy sent to the referrer.

The full criteria for referral is on the Referral Form.

A downward spiral

Claire and her husband were both working full time before they had children.  Despite having post-natal depression (PND) after James’s birth, Claire managed to continue her full-time job in retail while James went to nursery.

Chloe was born 14 months after her brother.  This time Claire’s PND was severe.  With no family support on the island, her world began to fall apart.  She was struggling as a parent and as a person.

‘Life just felt mental.’

Hitting an all-time low

James, who was very energetic, stopped attending nursery as Claire was at home with both children.  ‘I never realised how hard having two children was.  I never got a break and was struggling with PND.  I got as low as anyone can get.’

In these early days, Claire received support and guidance in the form of visits to her home from a Community Nursery Nurse with Family Nursing and Home Care.  She said this was ‘a God-send’ but her confidence was ‘at rock bottom’.

The Community Nursery Nurse had done her best to encourage Claire to access other support services, particularly groups to socially benefit both herself and James, but she was struggling with low self-esteem and kept putting barriers in the way.

A lifeline

The Assisted Nursery Places (ANP) Scheme offers parents the incentive of part time nursery hours in return for them accessing services that will help them make the positive changes that they would like to make for themselves and their family.

After a lot of persuasion, Claire agreed to be referred by her Community Nursery Nurse.  This set her off on a chain of events that totally changed her life.

She started going to a family charity based at the Bridge, called Brighter Futures.  ‘I found it really hard at first; my confidence was on the floor.’

However, James loved being back in a nursery and as a consequence his behaviour improved and he became calmer at home as well.  These few precious hours with just one child gave Claire the chance to spend quality time with Chloe and give her the one to one she felt Chloe had missed out on before.

‘It might seem like only 10 hours of nursery, but it’s so much bigger than that.  You don’t realise the impact that those 10 hours of nursery had on me and my family.’

‘It quite simply helped me to get my sanity back.  I really believe that if I hadn’t had this help and support, I would either be in La Moye Prison for murdering someone or I would have topped myself.  I got so low.’

Moving forward

Claire did courses with Brighter Futures that helped understand James’s needs.  ‘The Circle of Security course changed how I am as a mum to my children and how I felt when I was with them.  I understood what James wanted and needed from me with his behaviour.  This made looking after him so much easier.’

She also went to a Growing Together course with Chloe while James was in nursery.  This gave her the chance to really interact with Chloe and to meet other mums, which helped to build her confidence and give her some much needed social interaction and support.

Looking to the future

‘I never dreamed that I would be working here now,’ says Claire, who is running a community facility.  ‘I never thought I would ever have the confidence to work again and not only that, but I’ve also got up on stage in front of lots of people with the drama group!’  She had to learn lines and perform in front of an audience.  ‘I simply didn’t have the confidence to do anything like that before.’

Claire feels the support she received transformed her future in a way she would never have believed possible back in her darker days.  ‘I would love to see every parent who is in the predicament I was in get this kind of support, and if I ever won the lottery I would make that happen.  I owe them my life – and my family’s future.’

Resilience is a skill you can learn and pass on to your kids and these workshops are a practical, informal and fun way of finding out how.  Families awarded places on our Assisted Nursery Scheme, can go on this course with a crèche, if needed, at no cost.

See what parents said about the last Resilience Training Course… Resilience Training Parent Feedback 2015/16

How long can a family access the Scheme?

The Scheme lasts for one academic year.  Families start the Scheme in September and finish in July the following year.

My child is going to stay in this nursery for their funded 20 hours that start in September.  Can he keep attending nursery in August?

If your child is staying at the same day nursery or preschool for their final year before starting school, their nursery place may continue until the end of August.  You do have to let us know this.

If your child is moving to a States Nursery Class in September, then their place will stop at the end of the Summer Term in July.

How can my family be considered for the Assisted Nursery Scheme?

Speak to your Health Visitor or another professional that knows you and your family’s circumstances.  We can only take a referral from a professional that knows your family in some way.

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