Best Start Plus Nursery Funding

About the Scheme

The Trust will fund children aged 2 – 3 years old, for around 10 hours / 3 sessions of nursery/preschool per week (based on local provision) who have an identified developmental need or have faced or are facing challenges in their family.

Children can be referred by their Health Visitor or Family Partnership Worker.

This scheme is mainly for children who are aged 2 – 3 years old but not old enough to qualify for the Nursery Education Fund (free 20 hours).  The funding does extend to younger babies and toddlers where a parent has an illness or disability.

We will ask the referrer to complete a chart with the Ages and Stages Questionnaire Scores, along with any further information that might help.  We will prompt you to repeat this at the end of the nursery funding place.

We will only ask for information about the child’s development need.

NB: Children of a parent who is/are care leavers or a Looked After Child will qualify for support from Brightly.  Please contact The Coordinator, Larn-a-Lod, Rue du Coin, Grouville, JE3 9QR or

Who is eligible?

Children who are eligible for referral for September 2021 must be turning 3 between 1st September 2021 and 31st August 2022.

How to Apply

Children can be referred by their Health Visitor or Family Care Co-ordinators.

Applications are by referral form only.

Next steps

A panel is set up to award places to families.  The next panel meeting is 13th May 2021.  Deadline for referrals is 30th April 2021.  The panel is made up of representatives from the Trust, Brighter Futures, a Day Nursery, a Preschool, Family Care Co-ordinators 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.

Claire’s Story – “I owe them my life and my family’s future”

A downward spiral

Life just felt mental.

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.

Hitting an all-time low

James, who was very energetic, stopped attending nursery so 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 did 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 Brighter Futures, a family charity based at the Bridge.  ‘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 her 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.’


How long can a family access the Scheme?

The Scheme lasts until the child is ready for their Nursery Education Funding.

If the child is staying at the nursery for their final year before starting school, their nursery place may continue until the end of August.

Who can apply to the Scheme?

Health Visitors and Parent Partnership Worker working closely with the family.

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