ESOL Plus - Childcare Programme

The Mayor’s ESOL Plus Childcare initiative has been working with partners to meet gaps in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) provision for learners with childcare responsibilities.

One in three Londoners were born outside the UK, and more than 300 languages are currently spoken on our streets. The Mayor has described the importance of English and the need for government and cities to improve the support we provide to learners, because a common language is necessary for a common life.

City Hall awarded £80,000 funding to two grantees - Poplar HARCA and Sutton College - to deliver innovative pilot projects to meet the needs of learners with childcare responsibilities, and to evaluate this work to support the case for more accessible ESOL with childcare. The projects ran between July 2018 and July 2019 and learnings from the projects can be found below.

The projects were presented at a recent workshop for ESOL providers interested in learning from the programme as well as contributing their existing expertise from delivery outside the remit of the ESOL Plus Childcare projects. Notes from this workshop are being integrated into the learning from the projects, and will form part of a piece of guidance for the sector on best practice in delivery of ESOL Plus Childcare. This guidance will be published in late 2019. 

Poplar HARCA

Poplar Housing and Regeneration Community Association (HARCA) was awarded funding by the GLA to deliver a one year pilot ESOL Plus Childcare programme between July 2018 and July 2019.

Poplar HARCA set out to deliver a provision that catered for parents, ensured local accessibility, offered a family friendly environment, had a crèche on site, and offered a timetable that fitted around school times and holidays. In addition to the term-time programme, holiday activities were to be provided for the whole family, including the school-aged children of learners. 

Learnings from Poplar HARCA

Sutton College

Sutton College was awarded funding ​​​​ by the GLA to deliver an innovative ESOL Plus Childcare pilot between November 2018 and March 2019. This was a partnership between four local authority-run Adult and Community Learning providers (ACL): Sutton (SC), Croydon (CALAT), Kingston (KAE) and Westminster (WAES).

The project supported learners with pre-school children or expectant mothers. The project was primarily designed to provide a supportive and nurturing environment for parents to develop their language skills through designing a ‘book’ or a ‘keepsake’ box for their children which describes their journey into society in this country.

Learnings from Sutton College

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