1998 EARLY YEARS DEVELOPMENT PLAN
SECTION B - BACKGROUND
Bristol City Council is a newly formed unitary authority
established on 1 April 1996. The city boasts a rich variety of provision for young
children and their families across all sectors - voluntary, independent and local
authority. The key directorates of Social Services and Education were formerly part of
Avon County Council and many services are still in the process of transition as a result
of this re-organisation.
The city is served by four different Health Trusts - United
Bristol Health Trust (UBHT), Southmead, Frenchay and Phoenix with Avon Health Authority
The last Section 19 Day Care Review was published in March 1996
and since this time there has been a real attempt to co-ordinate all plans with
implications for early years services. The Children=s
Services Plan, produced in 1997, and Interim Early Years Development Plan both reflect a
commitment to a more co-ordinated approach to early years services, particularly by the
Summary of Day Care Review March 1996
This review exercise collated a great deal of information and
involved an extensive consultation process; many of the conclusions remain relevant in
1998. The main recommendations and action taken since 1996 are identified below:
Services Plan for Bristol 1997 - 2000
||Summary of action taken
|1. New provision should be targeted to
areas where there is a mis-match between need and provision.
||- relocation of Social Services day care
services from St Paul=s to Fishponds
development of Social Services Day Care in Withywood and Bedminster areas, closure of
large day nursery not in area of high need.
|2. Low demand for some forms of provision in
certain areas. More integrated provision for Children in Need to be created and more
flexible full-time provision to meet family=s
||- integration of Hartcliffe Nursery School and
Day Nursery to form a combined Early Years Centre still in progress.
- out of school
provision extended by OSCA funding.
|3. To develop more resources to meet needs of
Black children and families.
||- sponsored scheme (for purchasing
childminding places) by Social Services being reviewed, actively considering need for
- Horizon and Child Care in Crescent Training schemes (funded by
EEC/SRB) have provided training for prospective childcare staff - special efforts made to
target Black people.
- needs of Black/mixed parentage children being considered as part of Hartcliffe
- Pre-school trainee scheme - whereby Social Services fund Black trainees on NNEB
course has been relocated to another nursery to encourage development of services.
|4. More integrated provision needs to be
developed for disabled children.
||- specific project (Southmead) joint funded
has promoted mainstream provision for disabled children
- all city council provision has
encouraged inclusive approach
- formation of forum for Inclusive Play has involved a number of voluntary
organisations in developing practice
- `Connect= specific information
service for services for disabled children has been funded.
|5. Education to review process of statementing
||- Statutory Assessment Review Group set up in
April 1997, involving Officers and Headteachers.
- objectives included making the
decision-making process more open and transparent, as well as ensuring the LEA adheres to
the Code of Practice on SEN.
- Pilot of new process to begin after Easter 1998, with full implementation, following
review, from September.
|6. Children in Need to receive services from
more mainstream provision rather than be concentrated in a limited range of resources.
||- several moves towards integration of Social
Services and Education provision leading to reduction in `stigmatisation= e.g. Hartcliffe, closure of Coronation Road
- sponsored day care scheme (which places children in need in range of
provision being reviewed)
- specifications for voluntary organisations funding more clearly targeted towards
Children in Need
- review of admissions policy for nursery classes and schools to provide clear
identification of AChildren in Need@ and giving priority to AChildren in Need@ whilst retaining a balance.
|7. Provide more information and support to
parents and others on day care services
||- Avon Parents Network (APN) continues to play
useful role in providing information, with leaflets in range of languages, covering most
of the city.
- development of newsletter not achieved as yet.
|8. Need for more/better outdoor play
activities for children.
||- Leisure services has undertaken a review of
play provision and has drawn up draft strategy in implementing >best value= approach to contracted out services.
|9. Improving quality of provision
||- Wide range of sectors and settings, led by
Education have collaborated to produce `Bristol Standard= which incorporates self evaluation in 10 dimensions of quality
Social Services Day nurseries are in process of meeting Department of Health registration
|9. Fairer distribution of Resources.
||- Social Services has conducted review of day
care and also identified savings. Review took into account geographical distribution of
resources hence relocation of day nursery services to East Bristol from Central.
Budget for sponsored day care scheme re-allocated to ensure equal distribution across
|10. More co-ordination between departments and
||- Joint Early Year Sub Committee has met
regularly since inception of new Local Authority (1 April 1996) - members from Leisure,
Education and Social Services. This Committee has been served by a joint Early Years
Officer Group, also representing all three directorates.
- Education and Social
Services have collaborated in several projects most notably the Voucher Scheme, Bristol
Standard and Hartcliffe.
- Avon Health Authority has been invited to serve on both the Early Years Sub-Committee
and the Early Years Officer Group.
This Plan was prepared during 1996/97 and involved a wide range
of agencies/professionals and users of services in its preparation.
Services Plan concentrated on Children in Need and summarised its core values and
objectives as follows:-
(i) Quality - Services
should always be of the highest possible standard within available resources.
(ii) Empowerment - Every
effort will be made to provide services which enable individuals to achieve the greatest
possible self development, personal independence, dignity and self respect. Whenever
possible service users and their carers should be involved in decisions about the services
(iii) Equity - The provision
of services should be both fair and seen to be fair. Effective procedures and systems are
necessary to ensure proper redress of grievances.
(iv) Equality - In order to
reduce disadvantage and discrimination services will need to take account of a person=s impairment, age, gender, sexual orientation,
culture, race, language or religion. Positive action will be taken, where appropriate, to
reduce disadvantage and to remove discrimination. Robust Integrated Equalities Policies
will be promoted.
(v) Public Service - It is
recognised that a key objective is to purchase a range of services to meet the needs of
(vi) Valuing People - The
provision of the highest quality service, requires the most effective use of the
authorities= most valuable resource, the staff
who deliver services.
(vii) Information - It will
be essential to provide comprehensive information about the services provided, including
what services can realistically be expected within available resources and how decisions
about allocation will be made.
(viii) Local Accountability
- Wherever possible services will be supplied and decisions made at the most local level
possible in response to local needs.
(ix) Inclusion - Wherever
possible, and subject to the agreement of the other agencies/departments concerned, users= needs for social services should be met within
mainstream (i.e. non-stigmatised) public provision (i.e. by Education, Leisure or Health).
(x) Anti-Poverty - Every
effort will be made to tackle poverty and social exclusion by focusing services on people
experiencing poverty and by making services more accessible to them.
(xi) Health - Every effort
will be made to improve the health of local people by ensuring that services are organised
to achieve the maximum health gain.
Specific work was undertaken in respect of Early Years, Child
Protection/Family Support both of which are relevant to this Plan and Review.
The strategic objectives in respect of these two areas are
summarised below (more details can be made available on request):
1 To improve the co-ordination and quality of early
2 To have developed a corporate early years strategy.
Child Protection and Family Support
1 To identify priorities and desired outcomes for
different elements of child protection services; this should include resolving whether or
not current child protection systems are overly active.
2 To determine a model and approach for providing family
support services to Children in Need.
Interim Early Years
Plan - July 1997
Bristol was one of the LEAs that successfully submitted an
Interim Early Years Plan in the Summer of 1997. This plan set out how Bristol would ensure
the availability of a quality part time place for all 4 year olds from 1.9.97. The plan
summarised developments taking place in Bristol and established key themes. The interim
plan has provided the basis from which to build.
SUMMARY - BACKGROUND
1. Three major reports have been produced in the last two years all highlighting the
need to develop and maintain the range of flourishing Early Years provision in Bristol.
2. The plans and subsequent action all demonstrate the extent to which the new Unitary
Authority has started to develop a corporate working strategy aimed towards meeting the
needs of children and families.
3. Key policy statements have been made and agreed upon concerning the underpinning
principles for Early Years Services in the city.
4. The wide range of provision, as well as historical factors, impose challenges on
all agencies and providers in determining the best ways to extend and work towards more
B:Background C:Early Years in Bristol D:The Partnership
& Consultation E:Audit of Need & Provision
F: Quality & Inspection G: Curriculum & role of Qualified Teachers H: Training & Staff Development I: Family Support/ Parent Involvement & Under 3's J: SEN K: Integration L: Affordable Childcare M: Information
Services Conclusions Annexes Executive Summary/Action
Plan Supplementary Info