We are especially grateful to Jan Dixon and Heather Carey at Bury East Children’s Centre and Doaa Farag, Public Health Registrar at Bury Council, for allowing us to share their evaluation of the project in action in Bury.
Recommendations to Local Authorities: Continue provision of, or introduce, ESOL Stepping Stones as a low-cost, effective intervention targeting Early Years child and maternal outcomes“Doaa Farag, Public Health Registrar, Bury Council
Bury East Children’s Centre have very kindly shared their internal evaluation of the course. This may help other settings to consider how ESOL Stepping Stones can work best in their setting and how it can be adapted to suit the communities served.
In my opinion there is a great need for this course in the Bury area and it should be delivered on a rolling programme within the Children Centre. We have so many families who this weekly session would benefit them enormously. In my role as a Programme Support Worker we have so many families who access the Children Centre with varying ethnicities and cultures and know that limited or no English language can be a huge barrier to lots of families. I feel that many EAL families can be very isolated and this in turn can have an impact on their children’s learning, development and limit social opportunities to enable interaction with peers. For the parents too social isolation can have a negative impact on their confidence and self-esteem, mental health and well-being. It was so lovely each week to see the mums come to the Children Centre be able to say their name and address to our Admin then come into the session, greet each other, and smile and say hello to myself and Wendy. The mums formed friendships with each other. They were all so eager to learn and happy to participate in group activities. Parents were keen to try out new words and phrases through repetition and positive reinforcement. The high attendance throughout the course I feel reflects the need for an ESOL course in the Bury East area. “Jan DIXON – programme support worker