CHANGE Weekly Bulletin 21st September
Out of school care provision in Parkhead
The focus this week has been on our plans for expanding out of school care (OSC) provision in our project area. We know that the Parkhead area does not currently have a service that is based close to local schools, although children are able to access two other providers who use minibuses for school pick-ups.
We enjoyed meeting with families and staff from St. Michael’s and Quarry Brae primary schools to begin exploring the level of demand for an additional OSC in this area. We have also spoken to all the OSC services that are operating in our project area already and the feedback we have received is that Parkhead is an area that could benefit from additional OSC provision. We will begin to use digital and paper surveys in the coming weeks to assess the level of demand from families. When we have completed this strand of our expansion work we will share the results with those who are living and working in the Parkhead area.
Cost of childcare
Families have told us that the biggest barrier to accessing childcare in Glasgow East is cost. Earlier this year, we conducted an analysis of how much it costs to use nursery or out of school care services in our project area. We shared the results of this with our project board and started to plan how we could share this more widely, especially with families. However, during our planning process we became aware that some of the information we had was already out of date. Some reviews of pricing structures had taken place and local authority nurseries operated by Glasgow City Council also implemented a fee increase.
We have now gathered the current pricing structure of all services in our project area and we are able to show the average cost of using nursery or out of school care for families in a range of scenarios. It is our intention to develop a resource for sharing these findings with families and we will support this with information on some of the support families may be able to receive with childcare costs.
CHANGE Knowledge Exchange update
Places at our Knowledge Exchange event are starting to fill up fast. The programme for the event, which is being held at Tollcross Leisure Centre on Monday 8th October, promises a varied day with a range of speakers and opportunities for discussion. Subjects we will be covering on the day include our findings from year two of CHANGE, how collaboration can help deliver support to families and the opportunities offered by play services and in the outdoors. We recommend booking a place as soon as possible if you intend to come along to the event. Bookings can be made online here or by calling the events team at Children in Scotland on 0131 313 8828.
Children and families' sector news
SCMA annual report
The Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) has produced its annual report, which is themed around the professional growth of their members. SCMA’s work to support the professional development of childminders is featured throughout. This covers the introduction of Scottish Social Services Council Open Badges for childminders, along with SCMA becoming a registered Individual Training Account provider. CHANGE and SCMA are continuing to explore how we can develop childminding in our project area. You can read the report here.
Children in Scotland Learning Guide
Children in Scotland (CiS) has published details of its learning and events programme for the next six months, from winter 2018 until spring 2019. The programme offers excellent professional development opportunities for anyone working in the children and families’ sector, with some courses being especially relevant to early years services and staff. You can also find details of conferences being held by CiS and partner organisations during this period. The CHANGE team has benefitted from the programme during the project and some of the team will be part of an upcoming study visit to Finland. You can access the Learning Guide and more information on members’ benefits here.
Contribute to CHANGE
We welcome and encourage input from anyone who has an interest in childcare or community wellbeing in Glasgow East. If you’d like to discuss this with a member of the CHANGE team please contact our Project Officer, Anthony O’Malley, email@example.com or our Policy and Participation Officer, Alison Hay, firstname.lastname@example.org. Both Anthony and Alison are based in Glasgow East at least four days per week and are happy to chat to anyone who feels they have something to contribute to the project.