Pre-school settings are looking forward to working together again on Shared Education activities thanks to the €4.2million project Sharing From The Start.
The Sharing From The Start initiative is supported through the European union’s Peace IV Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. It involves early years settings throughout Northern Ireland and the Southern Border counties forming cross-community partnerships, and the children taking part in joint curricular classes, improving educational outcomes and promoting good relations.
Now in it’s third year, there are over 100 pre-schools across the region involved in Sharing From The Start. By partnering with a neighbouring pre-school, staff, parents and children are able to avail of many opportunities including tutoring, trips, performances and various curriculum based activities. Starting this term there will be over 3000 children involved with a number of new pre-schools joining the programme. All of them are now busy planning their shared sessions and looking forward to starting their work together.
Sharing From The Start is administered by Early Years working in collaboration with the National Childhood Network and the Fermanagh Trust. Together these three organisations have a strong track record of working for the benefit of children and good relations development. Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland and the Department of Education and Skills in the Republic of Ireland.
Pauline Walmsley CEO of Early Years commented “Feedback from those pre-schools involved in the project so far has been very encouraging and already we are seeing positive outcomes in terms of educational and societal benefits. Staff and pupils enjoyed working together and they’ve experienced the benefits that come from enjoying good relations with friends from different communities. We’re particularly pleased that so many more children will be joining Sharing From The Start and availing of the opportunities in this third year of the project. This work is contributing significantly to making sharing a reality for all pre-school children.”
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