CHANGE Weekly Bulletin 23rd February 2018
Over the last year the CHANGE project has been consulting with local families about what they want and need from childcare in the local area.
Families have shared that they often come across barriers to accessing childcare and some of these issues have been around availability, accessibility, flexibility and costs of childcare places. Parents and carers have also highlighted that it is often difficult to get information about childcare and often “they don’t know where to start”. As a result, in many cases families are reliant on other parents/carers or key people in the community, including health visitors, early years practitioners and teachers to share local information about services with them.
The first consultation phase is now coming to an end and we are looking at the outcomes of this process to help inform how we can bring about positive change in partnership with local families and childcare services. To assist us with this we plan to set up a virtual hub with local childcare providers agreeing to support us with testing new ideas to bring about lasting improvements to the area. The first meeting of the hub is set for mid-March.
We have also begun to identify local people to become ’Family Champions’ who can help to share their experiences of childcare in an informative way both with hub members and the local community. Alongside the rest of the team, the Family Champions will support the project going forward and act as a conduit between the hub and local families and services so that together we can affect progress over time and the local community will continue to inform any future decision-making process.
The CHANGE team is looking forward to this next phase of our work. We will provide regular updates on the progress we are making via our weekly bulletin and social media outputs.
ELC expansion in the news
The last week has seen the publication of some high-profile news items about the expansion of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland. The first of these followed the publication of Audit Scotland’s review of the proposed expansion programme. Their report highlights ‘significant risks’ to achieving the desired outcomes as set out in the Scottish Government blueprint. The full report can be read here. The second story concerned research by the campaign group Fair Funding For Our Kids, which published findings that showed only one in ten local authority nurseries was open long enough to provide childcare for a whole working day. You can read more on this story here.
Although both reports lay out the significant challenges faced by the sector in expanding statutory childcare, we believe that they also highlight the need for projects like CHANGE. We are working with a cross-sector of childcare providers, both of pre-5 and school-aged childcare, to support the development and expansion of services to meet the demand for childcare provision in Glasgow East. In doing so, we hope to establish more childcare spaces that offer affordable access to services in the area, while also offering a level of flexibility that reflects what is needed by families.
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.