The Teens and Toddlers Programme
Each 18-week Teens and Toddlers programme is run in partnership with the local authority the school and a nursery one afternoon a week and combines:
- An accredited vocational NCFE Level 1 Award in Interpersonal Skills. This qualification is achieved by 92% of graduates and inspires them to progress to further education.
- An innovative work experience scheme where teens mentor a young child, who needs extra help, in a nursery. This builds a sense of responsibility, highlights employment possibilities and teaches about parenthood.
- Classroom sessions in anger management, emotional intelligence, risky behaviour and sexual health
- Mentoring to support personal development.
Teens and Toddlers is the only programme that targets two sets of disadvantaged children for Early Intervention, by pairing at risk teenagers with vulnerable small children in a nursery setting to offer real-life experience of mentoring a small child and the challenges of parenthood. This innovative approach gives the young people a sense of responsibility and the opportunity to act as a role model. Teens and Toddlers also provides a gateway to employment and qualifications with the opportunity to gain an Accredited Level 1 NCFE Award in Interpersonal skills.
Work experience in the nursery is combined with one-on-one coaching and classroom sessions. After two hours in the nursery, the young people spend an hour in the classroom where, with a trained facilitator, they explore what they have learnt in the nursery and in their lives to build interpersonal skills and emotional literacy (e.g confidence, self esteem, self management and social skills). The young people are encouraged to communicate effectively, make positive choices (e.g around sexual health), examine risky behaviour and understand the importance of career/educational attainment. They gain key skills to find a job, such as building rapport/achieving goals. One-one-one mentoring by trained volunteer counsellors, also supports personal development. In total, the young people receive 54 hours of support.
Teens and Toddlers works because we provide a positive experience so teenagers can explore the issues that affect them and learn that they have choices. During classroom time, the young people develop a portfolio to help them acheive the Level One National Award in Interpersonal Skills. (NCFE). At the end of the programme, the young people are presented with their Award at a VIP Ceremony. This public endorsement helps build confidence and encourages progress to further education. 92% of young people participating achieve the National Award, often their first qualification, which inspires them to progress to further education.
The charity works with local authorities/schools to identify disadvantaged teens, using a DfE-approved "at risk" assessment tool. We identify "disadvantage" through poverty (free school meals), disengagement/exclusion from education, and likelihood of risky behaviour.
"I think Teens and Toddlers works on several levels. Apart from the stated aims of preventing teenage pregnancy, I have found the programme invaluable in teaching our youngsters reliability, consistency, responsibility, social skills and raising self esteem. For many students they are forming attachments not with a play station or some form of material goods, but with a human being (the toddler) who looks forward to their attendance. This can have an extremely powerful effect."
Gordon Phillips, Manager of Social Inclusion, Queens Park Community School, Brent
The Community and Enterprise Skills Award (CESA), Pathway to Employment
Graduates from Teens and Toddlers highlighted that they wished to continue building on the personal development and transformation they achieved through the Teens and Toddlers programme. To meet this need we have developed the Community and Enterprise Skills Award, accredited by NCFE, to build on the skills our graduates learn at Level 1 through Teens and Toddlers.
The 17-week Level 2 Award gives 24 young people in each local authority a higher level experience of building their life and work skills, including developing and implementing community projects in key issues such as drugs and sexual health and running events. Level 2 is equivalent to the standard of work a young person would be expected to achieve for an A-C at GSCE.
Having a pathway through to employment with a recognised qualification is critical for remaining EET (in employment, education and training) and provides vulnerable young people with alternative life goals to becoming a teenage parent or getting involved in crime or other risky behaviour, such as drugs and alcohol.
The programme has been tailored and customised to meet the specific developmental needs of hard to reach young people. This Level 2 qualification will add value to the overall programme by providing vulnerable young people with a tangible outcome that is not available through statutory provision and helps to build up their CV's.
Our overall aim in our work with young people, who are often seen a "problem" in their local area, is to help them develop leadership skills and contribute in a positive way to their community through the creation of youth-led projects. Key objectives are:
- To encourage positive learning about enterprise skills and working with money in order to achieve a Level 2 qualification
- To learn through participation, the skills involved in developing, designing, planning, implementing and evaluating an enterprise project
- To identify a unique contribution to make a lasting difference to the young people's own community that has an identifiable return on investment.
- To develop interpersonal skills, team skills and leadership skills to improve the young person's personal development, emotional literacy, aspirations in life and a sense of identity in the world of work.
- To develop greater self-esteem, confidence and motivation, through creating a positive experience that empowers students to learn about managing risk and opportunity, in order to direct their lives more effectively.
- To develop skills for living and contributing to communities and society and to build an empowered sense of choice and options for the future.