O’Dowd: £3million available to pre-schools for new learning programme

Date published: 18 March 2016

Education Minister, John O’Dowd, has launched a new £3million learning programme aimed at pre-school settings.

Funded jointly by the NI Executive and The Atlantic Philanthropies, the ‘Getting Ready to Learn’ programme will benefit from an investment of £3million over the next three years as part of the ‘Early Intervention Transformation Programme’ (EITP).

The scheme is open to applicants until 29 April 2016.

Speaking today the Minister said:

“There is a wealth of evidence about the benefits of increased parental involvement in the early education of children. ‘Getting Ready to Learn’ will build on the existing strengths of pre-school settings and ensure that it becomes best practice for settings to help and support parents to take an active role in their children’s development.

“I have already established the importance of this with the ‘Education Works’ advertising campaign. Parents are a child’s first teachers and the importance of this early education cannot be overestimated. Parental involvement during the crucial informative years in a child’s life is essential to their educational outcomes.”

There are four learning programmes within the ‘Getting Ready to Learn’ scheme – Big Bedtime Read; Education Works in Pre-School; Happy and Healthy Kids; and Ages and Stages 3-4. Each programme provides a range of resources to encourage parents to get involved in their child’s education from the early years.

In conclusion the Minister said:

“Getting Ready to Learn is an opportunity for all pre-school education practitioners to engage with parents and share their knowledge, skills and ideas to help parents support early learning at home. The four themes that schools can choose from all support my Education Works Campaign and I urge pre-school settings to become involved.”

Applications are available online from the Education Authority website.

Further information is available on the Department’s website.

Notes to editors: 

1. Getting Ready to Learn is an application based programme available to all pre-school education settings with DE-funded places for target-age (3-4) children to help them support parents of pre-school children to improve their home learning environment.

2. Over £3million funding will be available across the next three academic years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19; there will be an annual call for applications around March of each year.

3. There are almost 24,200 pupils in funded pre-school education, the highest figure on record.

4. The Education Authority is responsible for the management and implementation of GRtL.

5. Delivering Social Change is the Executive’s framework, set up to tackle poverty and social exclusion. It aims to deliver a sustained reduction in poverty and associated issues across all ages and to improve children and young people’s health, well-being and life opportunities thereby breaking the long term cycle of multigenerational problems. 

6. The Department of Education’s ‘Education Works’ campaign promotes the value of education. This year’s campaign aims to ensure that parents have information on schooling and that they are aware of the steps they can take to ‘Get Involved’ and support their teenager in achieving good outcomes at school. Watch out for the ads on television, radio and outdoor locations. The campaign highlights the vital role families can play in helping children do well at school and improve their life chances. Visit nidirect - Education Works or watch the TV ad on the Department’s YouTube channel.

7. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 99 715 440, and your call will be returned.

Share this page

Back to top