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What is CHANGE?
CHANGE is a project working to support expanding childcare for communities in the East of Glasgow.
There is currently a range of nurseries, childminders, and out-of-school clubs in Glasgow East providing care and education for children. However, parents and carers have told Glasgow City Council that what is available is not always right for families in the area and the number of families using these services is low compared to other places.
Children in Scotland has been awarded a grant from the Big Lottery to work with people in the area, Glasgow City Council and others to look at what childcare is needed in the Calton/Bridgeton, Tollcross/West Shettleston, and Parkhead/Dalmarnock areas of the city and to come up with a workable way of putting better services in place.
Its main aims are:
The CHANGE project is being led by Children in Scotland with support from a range of partners. The project team of Children in Scotland staff is made up of project director, Jackie Brock, chief executive of Children in Scotland; project manager, Sally Cavers and project officer, Anthony O’Malley.
Its focus for the first year has been facilitating engagement activities, supported by the local Thriving Places team, with children and families in the local area. It will share their findings and explore possible improvements to childcare services with Glasgow City Council and others.
The final partner, Glasgow Centre for Population Health is providing the ongoing evaluation of the project with responsibility for collecting qualitative and quantitative date in relation to childcare in the project area.
What has CHANGE learned so far?
The first year of community engagement work saw the emergence of several themes in relation to what families want from childcare. Availability was highlighted, with an emphasis on how people find out about what’s available and the need for an increase in registered childcare places.
With changes taking place to the benefit system it was unsurprising that affordability was a concern for many families. Access to transparent and reliable advice on costs was crucial to parents being able to plan their working life or education. Another concern for parents related to accessibility, particularly around how to get to a service if you live at a distance and issues around public transport.
Meanwhile, greater flexibility from services, to support shift patterns and/or unforeseen circumstances, was another strand that is needed to help parents to balance the demands placed on them. Positive relationships between services and families are crucial in ensuring that children and their parents are given the support they need and by someone they trust.
CHANGE and its partners are reflecting on learning from the first year of the project to create a model that will help achieve the project aims.
You can follow progress on the CHANGE website www.change-childcare.org and on social media. Twitter: @changechildcare, Facebook: Childcare and Nurture Glasgow East.
For more information about the project contact Anthony O'Malley at firstname.lastname@example.org
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