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FAQ

Questions anyone?

Updated : 04 May 2020

Hopefully you will find the answers to your questions here. If not, why not send us an email using the form at the bottom of the page.

1 What is the Getting Ready to Learn Programme?

Getting Ready to Learn (GRtL) was introduced as part of the Early Intervention Transformation Programme (EITP) and pre-school settings have been participating in GRtL since the 2016-17 academic year. The EITP was a NI Executive / Atlantic Philanthropies Delivering Social Change Signature Programme funded jointly by several NI Departments and The Atlantic Philanthropies. The EITP was a three year programme and in 2019, taking account of the positive outcomes demonstrated, the Department of Education confirmed funding to continue to sustain and build on the success of the programme.

The programme has continued to demonstrate positive outcomes for pre-school children, their families and the pre-school educational settings. The Department of Education has confirmed it will continue to fund the Getting Ready to Learn Programme in 2020-21.

The Getting Ready to Learn programme focuses on improving outcomes for children in pre-school settings by engaging and empowering parents, to help them create and sustain positive home learning environments. Settings can apply for funding to deliver between 1 and 4 themes: Education Works in pre-school, Happy Healthy Kids, Ages & Stages and/or Big Bedtime Read. Settings then plan a range of activities to engage parents, for example, interactive workshops, stay n play sessions and home lending resources. The purpose of the funding is to help settings establish their programmes and build up essential home lending resources to carry out the programme.

2 Who is eligible to apply for funding?

All settings delivering the NI Pre-School Education Curriculum in the 2020/21 academic year to target-age (3-4) children, namely:

  • Nursery schools
  • Nursery units within primary schools
  • Private or voluntary settings with PSEP places
  • Primary schools may also apply if they are delivering the NI Pre-School Education Curriculum to pre-school children in a reception class
  • Special schools

3 How do you apply to participate in the Getting Ready to Learn Programme?

Any existing settings participating in the GRtL programme must complete their ‘Intentions for 2020/21’ by the end of August 2020.

Application forms for new settings will go live from Monday 7th September 2020. The completed applications must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 16th September 2020. Applications forms for 2020/2021 can be found HERE. Please email your completed form to: grtl@eani.org.uk

4 What happens after I submit an application?

Existing settings will be informed of the outcome of their application and the amount they have been awarded by the end of August 2020. You will receive a letter via email – this will be sent to the email address provided on the ’Intentions for 2020/21’ form.

Funding will then be allocated to settings in September 2020 and must be spent in full by the 31 January 2021.

Funding can only be released to settings who have submitted an intentions form for 2020-21 and supplied the Getting Ready to Learn team with their monitoring for 2019-20 (Financial record 2019-20 and Follow-up monitoring for 2019-20).

5 What can I use the funding for?

The aim of Getting Ready to Learn is to build the capacity of staff within pre-school settings to engage effectively with parents, Therefore Early Years' practitioners are required to deliver the workshops/sessions in their setting based on their own expertise and experience of delivering the NI Pre-School Education Curriculum. Funding should not be used to pay for external facilitators.

Funding should be used by settings to purchase resources for home-lending bags/packs. The funding is specifically aimed at enabling settings to engage with parents: therefore funding will not be available to purchase generic pre-school equipment, outdoor equipment or IT hardware/software.

DE have agreed that in 2020/2021 participating settings will be able to use their allocated funding to ‘gift’ home lending bags to children/families. For further information, please refer to the Guidance for Home Lending Bags 2020/21.

6 Do settings still need to complete monitoring and finance records every year?

Settings are required to submit a baseline at the start of the programme (usually October) and follow-up monitoring at the end of the year (May). Reminders will be posted on the GRtL website.

Funding can only be released to settings who have submitted an intentions form for 2020-21 and supplied the Getting Ready to Learn team with their monitoring for 2019-20 (Financial record 2019-20 and Follow-up monitoring for 2019-20).

Every year that you receive funding for the GRtL programme you will be required to ask parents to complete the baseline and follow up monitoring forms. Settings will also be required to submit a financial record by Friday 12th March 2021.

7 What support is available to settings participating in the Getting Ready to Learn Programme in 2020/21?

Guidance and resources to help practitioners prepare for and deliver sessions will continue to be provided by EA GRtL team, including input from a range of health professionals and educational services. Existing settings will be able to log in to the dedicated GRtL website to access relevant resources and guidance materials.

If you are a new setting you will be invited to register and log in to the GRtL website to access resources, once your application has been approved.

A parent tab has also been developed on the Getting Ready to Learn website with resources and key contacts that may be useful for parents.

The Getting Ready to Learn Team is always available to provide advice via grtl@eani.org.uk

8 Will there be Transforming Practice Days in 2020/21?

Transforming Practice Sessions are usually facilitated throughout the year to provide opportunities for training and dissemination of effective practice. Due to the current pandemic, from September 2020 these sessions will be provided online through the GRtL learning portal.

Settings will be invited to apply for a place on the session relating to the themes that you are delivering. You will then get access to training videos, handouts and useful resources linked to the topic of the session. Details of these session will be posted on the GRtL website in August 2020.

The Getting Ready to Learn Team is always available to provide advice via grtl@eani.org.uk

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