Teens and Toddlers is an educational programme designed to help young people succeed at school through the experience of mentoring nursery children.

Who we work with  Outcomes  Further details

I'm interested in the Teens and Toddlers Programme


The Teens and Toddlers educational programme is delivered over one morning or afternoon each week over 16 weeks and encourages young people to:

  • Become a mentor and role model to a child in a nursery, supporting their learning and development.
  • Take part in reflective group learning sessions which include specialised coaching to boost their self-confidence and raise aspirations.
  • Achieve a national qualification in Interpersonal Skills (NCFE Level 1).

Who we work with

We work with young people, usually aged 13 to 14, who are at a crucial stage in their lives and are at risk of not achieving their academic potential. They may need our support for a variety of reasons:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Behavioural issues
  • Poor attendance

  • A history of exclusions
  • Disengagement from school
  • Engagement in risky behaviour (e.g. alcohol or substance misuse)

Their need may also be related to the following:

  • They are eligible for pupil premium (often an indicator of socio-economic disadvantage)
  • They have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
  • They are looked after children (LAC)

Our outcomes speak for themselves

The programme is underpinned by a deep understanding of many different teaching practices. The experiential curriculum has been developed with teachers, youth development experts and young people and is supported by a strong body of research.

96% of teachers believe the young person benefitted from the programme.
81% of teachers believe the young person's attitude towards learning improved because of the programme.
98% of young people would recommend the project to others.

Read more on our impact dashboard

“I'd say I've changed since I started the programme because my patience levels have built massively… So I've been able to take that skill from there and use it in school. I've been able to be more patient with teachers, more patient with myself and more patient with things that I don't really get as easy as I should… I've learned how to communicate better with people that maybe I wouldn't always communicate with. I've learned how to listen a lot more.”

Courtney, 14, Teens and Toddlers graduate

Read more success stories

How does it work? 

The programme is delivered over half a day each week for 16 weeks, and includes nursery placements, discussion sessions before and after spending time with the nursery children, group coaching and constructive feedback.

Nursery Sessions

  • We help schools select cohorts of 8 to 10 students that fulfil our target criteria.
  • We place them in a partner nursery for one morning or afternoon each week for up to three hours.
  • During this time they mentor a young child and help to support their language and communication development.
  • In doing so, the mentors experience a positive relationship in which they are a role model. This dynamic boosts the young person’s self-esteem, develops their sense of responsibility and helps them improve their interpersonal and relationship-building skills.

Coaching Sessions

  • Group sessions led by trained facilitators and support the learning from the nursery sessions by covering key life skills including, teamwork, positive relationships, assessing risks.
  • Example sessions include: Communicating & Developing, Human Potential, Learning as Exploring.

Ongoing Feedback

  • Young people on the programme fill in a weekly journal and facilitators report back to school teaching staff on their progress each week.
  • All participants receive an accredited NCFE Level 1 Interpersonal Skills qualification during a graduation ceremony once the programme has been completed.
  • At the end of the programme, there are detailed debrief sessions for each student with school staff to discuss possible next steps.

Find out what some of the teenagers and nurseries we've worked with think of 'Teens and Toddlers'...

Further details

We'd love to hear from you if you're interested in running or supporting a Teens and Toddlers programme.

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