CHANGE Weekly Bulletin 23rd March 2018
Although CHANGE is focusing on increasing childcare provision in Glasgow East for 0-12 year olds, the upcoming expansion of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) to 1,140 hours is likely to have an impact on our project objectives. In our bulletin on 9th March we explored Audit Scotland’s review of the proposed expansion. In this week’s bulletin we will share the second part of our analysis of this report. We also have an update from the first meeting of the CHANGE Hub members.
Exploring ELC expansion – Part 2
There is discussion throughout the Audit Scotland paper concerning the level of complexity that surrounds applying for childcare. This is an issue that CHANGE has heard about from a variety of sources, including families and support organisations in Glasgow East. There are childcare services, both for pre-5 and school-aged children, from the statutory, third and private sectors in our project area. Each of these has different procedures for registering and admitting new children, although local authority nurseries are bound by a common admissions policy. People have told us that there is an immediate need for information around childcare in general, and statutory entitlements in particular, to be clearer and more accessible for families. A model for delivering the support that families need to access childcare, including information, is something we are currently exploring with our partners and services working in Glasgow East.
The CHANGE project is focused on a wider age range than that covered by the expansion. Our aspirations include developing childcare services that better meet the needs of families who have children aged 0-12. The Audit Scotland report highlights some of the challenges faced by those services that aren’t providing statutory childcare. In our project area there are five out of school care services and CHANGE aims to help develop services such as these to ensure high quality childcare is available for children from birth until the end of primary school. We are working closely with the Scottish Out of School Care Network and recently published a blog from their Policy and Research Manager, Andrew Shoolbread, discussing the benefits for children using school-aged childcare.
In our bulletin on 23rd February we discussed our plan to create a virtual CHANGE Hub with a range of local services working with children and families. The Hub met for the first time this past week and we are now able to provide some more information on our plans for testing some of the changes that may be required to develop services better suited to meeting families’ needs.
The CHANGE Hub has a diverse membership, with representatives present from a range of cross-sector childcare providers and a number of other organisations supporting families in Glasgow East. This includes the Glasgow North East Foodbank, the Department for Work and Pensions Community Partners team and staff from our project partners at Thriving Places Parkhead, Dalmarnock and Camlachie. By bringing together some of the childcare providers working in the area with these other support groups we hope to develop a collaborative working model that could drive some of the changes we hope to be able to implement.
During our first session we explored some of the current systemic barriers to accessing childcare along with discussion on what the ideal childcare landscape would look like. This will now be used to develop aims and objectives specific to the work of the Hub. We are using a form of improvement methodology, specifically developed for services working with children and young people, to help plan our actions. Regular updates on the work of the CHANGE Hub will be provided in this bulletin and you can follow some of our activity on Twitter using the hashtag #CHANGEHub
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.