Childcare Providers and Wrap-around Care in Schools

In  Children and Young People Now , 07.12.15 – a new announcements on childcare and schools.

Image 5‘Childcare providers could be given the right to apply to deliver wraparound care using school facilities…’, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans to offer out-of-school-hours childcare using school facilities. (Picture: Peter Crane)
Under proposals unveiled today, childcare providers will be given the “right to request” that a school allows it to use its facilities to provide care for the children of parents at either end of the school day and during school holidays.

It has proposed that schools manage the “right to request” process and governing bodies take the final decision about what action to take.

A consultation has been launched by the Department for Education that runs until the end of February 2016 to assess how schools and childcare providers can work better together. It will also find out how schools respond to wraparound childcare requests from parents and childcare providers.

At an event to launch the proposals, Cameron said: “This will open up good quality, affordable childcare for parents at either end of the school day and school holidays – taking pressure of budgets and helping them plan for the future.”

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced plans to give parents the right to request wraparound childcare provision from schools in October’.

SmithMartin Partnership working with providers and schools…

Increase in childcare entitlement from 15 – 30 hours per week.

Image 1Children and Young People Now have published the latest from the government in doubling free universal childcare entitlement.

The government is to fast-track legislation to double free universal childcare entitlement to 30 hours a week. David Cameron says one of the first things his government will do is legislate to increase childcare provision.

In a speech in Stockton-on-Tees yesterday Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed that the Conservative Party’s manifesto commitment to expand the free entitlement to early education from 15 hours a week to 30 hours a week, will be included in the Queen’s Speech this month.

He said: “One of the first things we are going to do is to make sure that we legislate to help with childcare.

“I think for so many families in our country it’s absolutely essential that they get that help with childcare, so that people who want to work and want to work more hours or longer shifts, or more shifts to bring home more money, are able to do that.” ‘

SmithMartin Partnership – working to achieve good quality childcare.

Parent Champions’ Training for Family and Childcare Trust

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Parent Champions’ is a volunteering project established by the Family and Childcare Trust and has become hugely successful in the last seven years.


As one of their trainers for the project I have been in Newham on a cold Friday in February at the Little Sheringham Children’s Centre to work with a group of volunteers who will make contact with parents in the community and provide them with the way to find out information.

‘Parent volunteers who spend a few hours a week linking with other parents, to tell them about local childcare and other family services. Being parents, they can chat in a more informal way and share information and their own positive experiences about using local services. They meet parents in all sorts of places such as playgrounds, markets, libraries and local play groups. They are supported by the local authority, a children’s centre or a local community organisation.’ Family and Childcare Trust website.

Based on the premise that ‘ word of mouth’ is a good way to spread information, this project has proved that it does two things really well; one is to let people know what is possible for the their family, and two, to realise potential in the volunteers themselves as they gain in confidence and in skills.

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As I was about to leave the training in Newham, Stephen Timms, the MP for Newham walked in to the centre. A real accolade for Children’s Centres being at the heart of the community


Sue Martin SmithMartin Partnership LLP- Bringing a light into communities.

Free childcare offer for 2 year olds

playFamily and Childcare Trust has released details from recent research which shows that thousands of two year olds in England may be missing out in the free entitlement to childcare.

The programme to give 40 per cent of England’s most deprived children high quality early education by September 2014 has not met its target. While 74 per cent of these children have been placed in nurseries and with childminders, there are big differences between local authorities in the proportions of children receiving free early education.

In London just 51 per cent of eligible children had been placed by November 2013. There are 37 local authorities where less than 60 per cent of eligible two-year-olds had been placed by November 2014, of which 25 were in London.

Anand Shukla, chief executive at the Family and Childcare Trust said: “This flagship policy is vital to the long-term outcomes of England’s most disadvantaged two-year-olds and to close the attainment gap between more advantaged and disadvantaged children.

“We know this is a challenging ask but local authorities must deliver on this policy. They need to make sure that local children’s centres are fully utilised and funded to provide the necessary places for the two-year-olds who are missing out. They also need to take advantage of the time-limited offer of grants and other support available to them from central government to expand provision.”

Much work to be done to ensure that parents can access childcare for two year olds, and have a reasonable choice giving quality childcare.

Sue Martin

SmithMartin Partnership LLP – working with the Early Years Agenda

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Parent’s Participation Research at Daycare Trust

Parents’ Forum at Granard Children’s Centre in Wandsworth


Daycare Trust has been exploring the range of volunteering opportunities and parent participation initiatives being managed by local authorities and Children’s Centres in England.

The Parents’ Forum at Granard Children’s Centre, which is part of Granard Primary School, is an excellent example of supporting parents in the community. Parents have a voice and place to share thoughts, ideas and skills in a positive and encouraging atmosphere.

Governance and organisation are key to the structure and delivery of a community based programme of activities. At Granard, involvement through the Parents’ Forum is the mechanism which enables a range of activities and services. Not only do they meet the government agenda but are also relevant to the needs of parents.

In the Daycare Trust report it states, ” Parents have described the Parents’ Forum as good for self esteem, socialising and developing new ideas. It also provides a reason for leaving home on Monday mornings and lifts depression.”

SmithMartin Partnership LLP is proud to be a member of Daycare Trust.

Sue Martin

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