Staffordshire’s children better prepared for schooling

We all want every child to be in a position to take full advantage of their education and latest figures from the Department for Education show that 70 per cent of the county’s five-year-olds are now performing better in their first year of school with improvements in their ability to communicate, follow instructions, concentrate, and learn with other children – which are all vital skills to do well at school.

The 86 per cent take-up rate for our Think2 free child care scheme for two-year-olds which I have spoken about before remains amongst the highest in the country too and is one of our schemes helping better prepare children for school.  The recent news that Staffordshire is to trial the Government’s extension of 30 hours free childcare for three and four-year-olds from September 2016 will also help build on this success further.

Other successful council schemes such as targeted support in the community for young families under the ‘Best Start’ programme are also having a real positive impact.  Furthermore, the building ‘Resilient Families’ scheme, where the whole family is supported rather than individuals continues to improve thousands of lives.

For children now, we want to encourage them to get into books and read more.  Reading is such an important and enjoyable activity for young people and our library service is always keen to promote activities that get more children excited about reading. This Thursday 3 March is World Book Day and we are encouraging people to join in the celebrations.  To mark the day, youngsters will receive a £1 book token available from schools and libraries, which can be exchanged for 1 of 10 amazing books at participating bookshops.  So, mums, dads, carers and grandparents it’s a great opportunity to visit your library or bookshop and let them choose their own book.  You can find out more about the day and the ten books to choose from at http://www.worldbookday.com

Sticking with reading and libraries, there is a range of volunteering opportunities still available at all 43 Staffordshire libraries. The roles are designed to help people explore their own interests whilst making a difference in their local community.  There’s lots of different things you can get involved in, with roles including helping and advising customers, organising books and resources and helping out with reading groups, Bounce and Rhyme sessions for children, job search activities and much more.  We’re also going to be offering volunteers the chance to do a brand new qualification on how to deliver excellent customer service which will be great for their CV.  You can find out more, along with a list of drop in sessions for each library at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/volunteerinyourlibrary

 

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