Aspire Training Team Case Study: Seaton Pre-School Addressing Poverty and Zero Hunger

 

At Aspire Training Team, partnering with nurseries and preschools like this one in Seaton, we are committed to embracing and promoting sustainable practices, guided by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2: No Poverty and Zero Hunger.

 

Sustainable Development Goals 1:  Poverty

The first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) aims to eradicate poverty, ensuring equal access to resources and opportunities. While poverty may seem distant from nurseries, its effects profoundly impact children’s development. Early childhood education plays a crucial role in breaking the poverty cycle by providing children with a solid foundation.

In the UK, 60% of working parents still fall below the poverty line. Between April 2020 and March 2021, UK food banks distributed 2,500,000 food parcels, with 980,000 going to children.

 

 

 

Nurseries can initiate partnerships with non-profits or businesses to provide additional resources and support to families in need. In our setting we have arranged with local supermarkets that they will deliver bread and other essentials to our nursery, which we then leave out for parents and families to take. We found that often parents felt ashamed going to a food bank and that having this available in boxes by the front door meant they could help themselves freely without the perceived stigma attached to it. I have worked alongside my colleagues to build up community links with our local businesses, for example our local Co-op now raises money for our preschool by including us as one of their local charity options that shoppers can ‘vote’ to donate to.

 

 

Sustainable Development Goals 2: Zero Hunger

 

SDG 2 focuses on ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture. Although these issues may seem disconnected from early childhood education, they are intricately intertwined with the overall well-being and development of children.

We also like to run raffles for times of celebration and try to include healthy food prizes, for example last Christmas we gave away all the vegetables needed to help make a lovely Christmas dinner!

 

 

One area we are also looking at is using food in play to try and support children’s understanding of different textures and flavours so that they are more familiar with new foods. This not only encourages healthy eating but we hope it will reduce waste.

We have a healthy eating policy and we provide all snacks but parents send in lunch boxes; we work closely with them to share information on healthy food ideas, we have open mornings and welcome sessions with new parents where we talk about ideas of what foods they can pack, so that the children are encouraged to eat healthy diets whilst also not waste food that is provided for them. We also like to get our children to help us prepare and make food for snack time.

We like to introduce new foods and keep them seasonal too. In our setting I have developed a small growing garden where we try and plant seasonal fruits and vegetables. This is a great way to engage and teach children about agriculture and where their food comes from. This hands-on experience fosters a connection to nature and a deeper understanding of the food production process.

 

 

I believe more nurseries can promote sustainable practices by incorporating locally sourced, organic food into their meal plans. Teaching children about the environmental impact of food choices instills a sense of responsibility toward the planet.

 

 

By Timea Demesova, Rupert’s Under 5s Pre-School, Seaton

 

 

 

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