CHANGE Weekly Bulletin 23rd August 2019
Summer with CHANGE
School holiday periods can be a little quieter for CHANGE in terms of posts on our website or social media accounts. However, the team has been working hard over the past eight weeks, with a focus on reflecting on what the project has learned during its first three years. Over the course of the next few weeks we will be publishing short learning summaries on our website. These will highlight some of the key learning from our work with families, childcare providers and other members of the community. We hope that some of this learning will generate discussion at local level and within the wider children and families’ sector. There will be an opportunity for people to respond to each learning summary and we hope that many of our bulletin readers will share their views on what we have learned and what should happen next.
The project team has also been busy planning our work for year four of the project, which will begin in October 2019. Since the start of the project three years ago, we have developed strong working relationships with a range of professionals working in childcare, education and other community-based services. We have also spoken to more than 200 families, including children, about their experience of accessing childcare and other services in our project area. We are using these networks and the learning we have amassed to shape the work we will be taking forward in the next year and a bit. We plan to share updates on our work and progress each week in this bulletin and on social media. This week and next we will be highlighting some examples of the work we are taking forward, with the first of these in the section below.
We are excited to be part of the Clyde Gateway Childminding project along with the Scottish Childminding Association (SCMA) and Jobs & Business Glasgow. The project aims to recruit and train 20 new Childminders who reside in the Clyde Gateway area. CHANGE led on initial awareness-raising work in March and April of this year and we will be extending this further to include participation and engagement work with children in September and October. We hope that the learning from these sessions can serve a dual purpose of raising awareness of Childminding as a childcare service and identifying what children think makes a good Childminder.
We will also be working with SCMA to identify opportunities to expand the number of Childminding services available across other parts of our project area.
Out of school care (OSC)
Regular readers of our bulletin will be aware that we have been very active in relation to expanding the level of OSC available in our project area. We were delighted to support the relocation of Connect 2 OSC’s Bridgeton service, which is now operating from the new Riverbank Primary School in Dalmarnock. This service is now able to accommodate 40 children, which represents an increase of 10 places from the 30 that the service was previously able to provide. The CHANGE team visited the newly opened school over the holiday period, and we were thoroughly impressed with the quality and child-centred layout of the main building, playground and football pitch. The Riverbank staff team has exciting plans for their school, and we look forward to following their progress and keeping in touch over the coming year.
During 2018/19, we have been working on scoping the need for an additional OSC service in the Parkhead community, which is part of our project area. There are two schools in this community, Quarry Brae Primary and St. Michael’s Primary. Our analysis shows that these are the only two schools across our project area and neighbouring areas that don’t have an OSC service based within their catchment boundary. We are currently working with some community partners to decide on the next steps for this work. We expect our work on increasing the level of OSC available in Parkhead to be a significant part of the project in our fourth year.
Children and families' sector news
Universal credit and childcare costs
A recent report from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has highlighted some challenges faced by families who need to access Universal Credit to pay for childcare costs. The report, which can be read here, also goes on to make some recommendations for childcare providers and others, to make this process easier for families. A blog that summarises the report can be read here.
Earlier this year CHANGE published a report on the cost of childcare across our project area. This paper includes details of the impact this has on families and highlights the complexity of accessing benefits to help pay for childcare. You can read our report 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, firstname.lastname@example.org or our Policy and Participation Officer, Alison Hay, email@example.com. 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.