Bath College state of the art creche enables parents to learn English
Bath College has a brand new creche that opened this academic year for the students on Childcare and Early Years courses to learn in.
Recognising that there are many parents who wish to do the ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) course, for whom childcare was a real barrier to them being able to attend, the College set up free creche sessions to coincide with the ESOL classes.
The children who attend the creche vary in age, from babies to four-year-olds, and are from countries all over the world including Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and Lebanon.
Half of the families utilising the free creche and ESOL course are refugees who came to England in a hurry, with little English and no family or friends close by.
Ghufran Jumaa is an ESOL student who has two children in the creche. “At home we speak Arabic and when my youngest started at the creche she didn’t speak at all. Now both of my daughters can speak in English, even some words at home!”
She added: “The creche is very helpful. The staff are very kind and they really know what to do with the children - The leader, the girls, all of them!”
Uha Najeh is a mother of twin baby boys who said: “The creche is helping a lot, they look after the kids and the students and staff are very, very sweet.
“I am very thankful to be able to finish my studies as I don’t have any family here and at home I couldn’t study, but with the creche, my life changed.”
The childcare students have also benefited immensely from having regular sessions with the same children, giving them hands-on experience at College, not just when they go out on placements.
Ren Anupun, who is studying the T Level Transition to Childcare Level 2 is really enjoying watching the children develop.
She said: “My first language isn’t English, it’s Thai, so I can really relate to the children who are all here learning English. I really enjoy watching them make friends and bond – they’re from similar backgrounds.”
Annesha Palmer is also studying the T Level Transition to Childcare Level 2 added: “I love watching them grow up! At the creche we get to know all the children and they’re changing so quickly.
“They trust us and get to know us and we also get hands-on experience with feeding and changing nappies, which really helps prepare for our studies and work.”
The students get to look after the children in the creche which has an open plan indoor play area complete with modern but traditional play equipment made from natural materials and also an outdoor play area with safety flooring, mud kitchen, climbing tower and wet wall.
Sarah Demirci is the Early Years Curriculum Team Leader and is delighted with the creche space.
She said: “I was so lucky to be part of the design process before the building work started. I was in on meetings with the architects which allowed me to give input, for example adding an observation room.
“This was really important for me as it allows the students to learn practically, observing the children without them knowing and without them approaching them to play!”.
The brand new creche has allowed all levels of childcare students to get meaningful experience, while really opening doors for many parents who are keen to learn and improve their English.