Footprints CEC enables disabled children and empowers parents/carers. It enriches the lives of children with disabilities, develops their independence and prepares them for the future by teaching a range of skills. Parents/carers learn alongside their child, and are provided with information, practical and emotional support. More than 90% of children who attend our pre-school develop the skills and confidence they need to enter mainstream education.
Children attend Footprints CEC from the age of 6 months to 12 years of age. They have a range of disabilities and challenges including cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, global development delay and other genetic conditions. However, we always focus on what children can do, not labels, diagnoses or conditions.
Babies and children with disabilities need extra support to consciously learn life skills that come more naturally to others. These include communicating, eating and drinking, problem-solving and playing. Not just literacy and numeracy. We help find a solution that works for them, such as eye-gazing or signing.
Footprints CEC is a Nottingham-based charity that meets these needs using the principles of conductive education, a holistic education approach. It is not a 'therapy' or a 'treatment', but a method of teaching practical ways to manage the additional challengesthat accompany a disability. It brings the professional structure and rigour of schooling (individual assessments and tailored learning plans), but in a setting families describe as welcoming, encouraging and positive.
We run pre-school classes 4 days a week. Our 'graduates' can come back for extra support if they need it whilst at primary school, at our speech and language classes or Saturday Gym Club.
Our distinctive service-
- we provide educational support at a time when most other services are medical
- family members/carers attend all our sessions so they can learn techniques to use at home
- we teach practical skills, incorporating daily activities into our sessions where appropriate (eg. eating, drinking, going to the toilet, socialising)
- we teach in groups, matching children who can learn most from each other
- we see our children and families weekly
- we set individual aims for our children, broken down into very small steps
- we have regular terms and short holidays to fit the learning styles of children and to ensure skills aren't forgotten