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Childcare funding scheme helping parents get back to work

Extra childcare provision being trialled in York is proving to be a success at the Tiny Steps Academy for two-year-olds, part of Haxby Road Primary Academy.

Tiny Steps is one of a number of childcare providers in the area piloting a scheme which provides 30 hours of free childcare for eligible families. Thanks to government funding, York mum Lauren Powell is one of eight parents at the Haxby Road school who have been able to go back in to work.

Lauren trained to be a teaching assistant whilst her daughter attended Tiny Steps for two-and-a-half days a week. Since the introduction of the pilot scheme, which provides an additional 15 hours of free childcare for eligible families, she has now been able to go back in to full-time work.

Lauren says: “The additional funding has been such a huge help. I have been able to get back into work and concentrate on my career, but also, my daughter has really blossomed and come out of her shell during her time at Tiny Steps. She is now a confident little superstar. I am so proud of her.”

Tiny Steps Academy is the only school-based provider in York that can take children from the age of two.  Using play as the basis for children’s learning in a safe, supportive and fun environment, the staff work with the children to build their self-confidence and independence. The transition to nursery at the age of three and to reception at the age of four is much smoother for those children who have been at the school from an early age, say organisers.

Laura Woodward, Deputy Head of EYFS and Specialist Leader of Education in Early Years at Haxby Road says: “We value the strong relationship with our local community and we encourage a positive partnership between children, their home, the provision and the wider community who help us to support the children in our care. We believe our Tiny Steps Academy is an extra special place where each child can take their own steps to explore and discover the world. We’re looking forward to showing people what we have to offer at our forthcoming open events!”

Open events will be held at 6pm–7pm on Wednesday 12 October and 9am–10am on Thursday 13 October. All are welcome to go along to view the facilities and find out more about the availability of funding for free childcare.

For further information, please call 01904 555590 or email: haxbyroad.primary@york.gov.uk