1998 Early Years Development Plan
Section L: Affordable Childcare
This section concentrates on current initiatives in Bristol which seek to provide affordable child care and starts to set out a strategy which can provide a local perspective to Central Government initiatives. It is assumed that child care and education will need to be integrated in all settings to ensure quality standards are met and the last section discussed this in greater detail. This section looks at the needs of pre-school and school age children separately as obviously different issues arise.CURRENT PROVISION
1 PRE SCHOOL
Although there is a great deal of day care and education nursery provision in Bristol it cannot always meet the needs of working / training parents with low incomes. This is either because of high costs or inflexible / part time hours. Provision can be summarised:
Day care for children under 3 years is funded by Social Services either through placement in Social Services day nursery or through the sponsored day care scheme. This is designed to meet the needs of children in Need and not working / training parents.
There are 4 community nurseries in the centre of Bristol which target members of the community who are unable to afford private provision. They mainly target low income / single parent families who are working, studying or training. These nurseries are able to offer subsidised places due to Social Services revenue funding (,151,380 - 1997/98). This funding is the subject of review although the commitment to support is likely to continue. One of them has attracted SRB funding to expand its number of places significantly. This sort of provision is not available in other parts of the city.
Day nurseries providing extended day and year round cover, available for section of community willing and able to pay for quality provision, now assisted by four year old funding. A wide range of fees are charged across the city which inevitably affects accessibility.
There are large numbers of childminders in Bristol who very often provide very reasonably costed day care. There are areas of the city where fewer childminders are available and efforts to increase numbers are not always successful.
This provision is for 3 and 4 year olds and is free to parents. Nursery education is often for very short periods (2 2 hours per day) which prevents parents from working/training. Full time places are available in certain parts of the city.
2 Out of School Clubs
There are a number of clubs throughout Bristol - 50% based on school premises. Most clubs are members of BAND (Bristol Association for Neighbourhood Day Care.) which is a longstanding organisation offering advice and support to clubs and playschemes. BAND is funded by the City Council ,72,923 in 1998/9. Most clubs are managed by parent/user committees and are non-profit making. Fees charged vary enormously and are dependent on the local economy. As a consequence staff wages are also variable. Many schemes offer concessions although in most cases this is dependent on other users being able to effectively subsidise such placements.
Bristol regularly hosts large numbers of playschemes which meet the needs of children whose parents are working /training and where children need opportunities for constructive play. Bristol Holiday Playschemes is an umbrella organisation which exists to co-ordinate and facilitate opportunities for play, informal education, recreation and other leisure time occupations. B.H.S. has been supported by Bristol City Council for some years and will receive ,81,7784 in 1998/9. It dispenses grants to a number of playschemes across the city. There are a number of other play facilities in the city eg supervised activity clubs, five adventure playgrounds provided by the City Council.
Estimated to provide a considerable amount of after school care but exact number of places are not known.
A number of additional places in out of school clubs have created by funding from WESTEC via OSCA (Out of School Childcare in Avon) over the last few years. The single Regeneration Budget has been responsible for stimulating growth in a number of child care services - summarised below. The last round of funding - SRB 3 - is now in process and no child care projects are planned, however, there may be an opportunity to develop this in phase 2, starting in 2000.
There have been a number of initiatives in Bristol where the need for childcare has been identified through economic regeneration projects. Sources of funding have been sought by voluntary agencies or partnerships in order to provide training and employment opportunities to parents in areas of high deprivation and social stress. These can be summarised as
The HORIZON childcare training and enterprise project brought an integrated package of childcare and play training, careers guidance and business advice to the priority areas of the city. The project was delivered between July 1996 to December 1997 through a partnership of over 12 organisations co-ordinated by Economic Development and Regeneration Team, Bristol City Council. It achieved its overall targets. In particular:
Programme of training in child care skills for black and ethnic minority people in the inner city, focussing particularly on language support.
An SRB 1 project which received the go-ahead in 1996, Childcare in the Outer Crescent is available as a resource for individuals and voluntary groups in areas of social housing on the outskirts of Bristol. These are Hartcliffe and Withywood, Knowle West, Southmead, Lawrence Weston and Lockleaze. Its aims are to assist individuals and local groups to:
These include training projects with associated child care, out of school projects and holiday playschemes.
These projects have all proved crucial learning opportunities for the agencies and families involved. In particular they demonstrate the need to integrate social and economic policies and the potential benefits of Partnership eg.
A the collaborative bottom up Partnership developed around the Horizon initiative by training and providing organisations in childcare and play is an excellent example of how to build local and community based capacity.@
(extract from Summary of Evaluation by Universities of Bristol and the West of England).Issues
Forward A:Introduction 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
or questions or information for inclusion.