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.

Alison McGovern,
new Shadow Childcare Minister

Image 7
Image: Alison McGovern

Alison McGovern has been appointed as the new shadow childcare minister.

She replaces Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell, appointed to the shadow early years brief in October 2013, has led Labour’s campaigns over the past year against cuts to children’s centres and the shortage of free childcare places.

She lists her parliamentary interests as international development, work and pensions, business innovation and skills, health, Treasury, Nigeria, older people’s health services, conditions of employment, supermarkets, and developing countries.

Most of Alison’s parliamentary business has involved issues on international development and social care for adults, although she has asked questions on school meals, youth unemployment and learning disability education.

It will be good to have a new perspective on childcare and we look forward to hearing more from Alison.
See more at: CYP NOW

SmithMartin Partnership LLP – childcare and early years sector

DolphinBookBox returns

DolphinBookBox - services from SmithMartin image
All our services in one place…

We have recently re-energised our oldest brand, DolphinBookBox. Some 10 years or so ago this was the delivery mechanism on-line for our community library and book delivery service.

What we have found recently is that, after over a decade of development, our Partnership ‘elevator pitch’ – what is it you do? – was getting longer and longer.

To stop our meeting attendees glazing over, as if they would, we have recompiled the BookBox web site and converted it into a feature suite for our miscellany of Partnership projects and services.

There is a logic to our Partnership offering, with inter-connected themes for all our work.

Our print and design service keys into our community web service, our project management efforts around community buildings key into our skills in governance and policy advice.

Our children’s book business delivery synergises with our international on-line contact project Books go Walkabout, which itself feeds projects into our publishing house activities for new eBooks and recharged back catalogue creation….and so on.

You can see the connections all on one website here, at

SmithMartin LLP – diverse connnectivity and services for your project.

Creating a more equal and productive Britain

25th Anniversary Lecture Daycare Trust


Don’t blame families, support them and help them to achieve better outcomes.” Sir James Heckman

By special invitation from Daycare Trust, the leading economist and Nobel Prize winner, Sir James Heckman of the University of Chicago, gave an outstanding lecture, delivered in the Churchill Rooms at the Treasury.

He argued that there is great economic benefit through the investment in supporting families and provision of good early years experiences, and this far outweighs the benefit of more costly programmes at a later stage.

In economic terms the long term benefit to society has a much higher return than the cost of projects such as for eg. support for those aged over 16 not in employment, education or training, reducing criminality, single, young parenthood, and concerns with issues of social disadvantage. He provided much evidence to support this and called for prevention programmes to be in place instead of remediation.

He called for professionals to work together and for the measurement base to be broadened with a focus on social or family policy rather than separation in to education, health and social care.

Sir James referred to the development of non cognitive skills as being a fundamental determinant in the longer term cognitive skills.

As an example he looked at some research from Hart and Risley, 1995, on the vocabulary of children. At the age of 2 in working class families in the US children had a vocabulary of 616 words, whereas in professional families the vocabulary increased to 2553 words.

Much to think about. The research gives credence to the belief that we have in our partnership,  that our work, which delivers support to children and families in social and economic disadvantage, clearly helps change community landscapes.

More information will be available on the Daycare Trust website and as a trustee of Daycare Trust,  immensely proud to be part of a campaigning organisation leading change for improvements for the lives of families.

SmithMartin Partnership LLP – engaging with communities and broadening horizons



Daycare Trust Annual Conference 16th November 2010

First Steps to next ste&Oeps: securing the future of childcare?

A lively and interesting day at the annual Daycare Trust Conference held at One Great George St, in the heart of Westminster, London.

A time of change, as Acting Chief Executive, Anand Shukla confidently continues to bring increasing research and consultancy dimensions, following Alison Garnham’s lead. Alison is now chief executive at Child Poverty Action Group. Both Sarah Teather, Minister of State for Children and Families and Sharon Hodgson the shadow education minister brought their views and positions for the future of childcare.

An interesting piece of research was presented by Kate Groucott, Policy Director for Daycare Trust, on Informal Childcare; Choice or Chance. Some excellent research and a scope which spreads far and wide into how families actually manage their childcare needs. A range of formal provision with an ongoing use of friends and families to make it all work. patOften called the patchwork of childcare and in the past seen as a way of bypassing the formality of Ofsted and expensive childcare.

The research brought out the feel of why parents use families and friends; and it is so often both because of the level of trust and confidence parents have with people close to them, and also it can be flexible in making a bridge between home and childcare or school. It is less expensive and becomes an effective bartering system as people work with each other to make lives easier and better too for the children.

At the end of the conference the new chair person, Maggie Darling expressed that Daycare Trust would continue to hold the government to account on behalf of parents and families and would continue to campaign for Early Years and for school age childcare and especially to ensure that children with special needs were supported.

Rita Stringfellow, the outgoing Chair for the last six years will be much missed. She has seen Daycare Trust go through some interesting changes and has been a stalwart in keeping on the right tracks with developing a strong team alongside.

Daycare Trust continues to be at the helm as the National Childcare Charity campaigning for quality, accessible childcare for all and raising the voices of children, parents and families.

Sue Martin, SmithMartin Partnership LLP – working with children, families and communities.

National Childcare Week 2010


What I want to be………

Daycare Trust are asking children and young people of all ages to join them to celebrate National Childcare Week 12th – 16 th July.

The art competition is based on “ What you want to be”. It may be a racing driver, a teacher, a writer, a spaceship astronaut, who knows……

fifiWinners of the competition will be invited to an awards ceremony in Central London where they will receive their prizes and the chance to meet some famous book and tv characters, like Big Chris and Roary the Racing Car and their creator, Keith Chapman. The closing date is 18th June 2010.

All the winning entries will be published on Daycare Trust website and Flickr and other outlets, as well as being included in a booklet to mark the occasion.

SmithMartin Partnership LLP is a supporter and sponsor of the event and are pleased to be part of the Daycare Trust’s continued work, campaigning for accessible and quality childcare.

The research carried out by Daycare Trust continues to be relevant and informative to parents, employers and government initiatives. One of the recent guides produced by Daycare Trust is,
‘A Guide to childcare for disabled children’ which provides lots of details and support contacts .

You can become a member of Daycare Trust and receive much of the information for free. Contact through the website.