A great deal of research - from quantitative Government commissioned surveys to Daycare Trust's own current qualitative study entitled ‘Listening to Parents' - shows that parents use other parents as a key source of information about culturally appropriate and quality childcare, as well as types of benefits and services available.
In 2007, Daycare Trust began developing the role of Parent Champions; parents who have positive experience of using childcare and/or supporting their child’s early learning who act as advocates and peer advisers in their community to other parents. The project began with the delivery of three pilot schemes in London, which were then evaluated, in a second phase, and informed the development of a national local authority toolkit developed by Daycare Trust for the Department of Children, Schools and Families. A third phase of this project, in 2011-13, funded by the Department for Education, included co-ordination of six pathfinder schemes across England with varying target groups, and in 2012 the launch of a Parent Champions National Network.
This innovative project continues to develop the model as an invaluable resource, to provide information and support to parents who have not previously used childcare or other related services. Continued Department of Education funding in 2013-15 enables the Parent Champions National Network to both maintain its free support to new and existing schemes, and also develop a new partnership with Action for Children to pilot the model in some of their children's centres, with a view to developing materials and a framework for it to be rolled out nationally.
Find out more about our Parent Champions work, including evaluation reports for the prototype and pathfinder projects, the Social Return on Investment assessment and details about how you could become involved in this work. You can also view our Parent Champion film.
Family Friendly UK is our nationwide scheme that helps organisations to play their part in supporting families in the UK. We work with our member organisations to help them provide better services for their family customers, and better support their employees. If your organisation would like to learn more about how to be more family friendly and the benefits it can bring to your business, staff and customers, visit our Join page.
We want to hear from families about how our members are doing. To find out which organisations are members of our Family Friendly UK scheme, click here. You can leave comments about your experience as a customer. By doing this you provide valuable feedback to our members to help them provide better services for families.
Together we can make the UK more family friendly
Find out more about Family Friendly:
Join the growing number of organiation that are realising the benefits of investing in families. Call our Family Friendly Manager Charlene Overend on 020 7940 7522 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In June 2011, The National Association of Family Information Services (NAFIS) merged with Daycare Trust and we are now working together to support families through local Family Information Services (FIS). As part of this merger, we are working with KIDS, and a consortium of partners, to provide advice and information to parents and carers of disabled children and young people, as well as commissioners, around personal budgets.
KIDS, In-Control, and the Office of Public Management will be producing a range of resources including a parent handbook, e-learning and web resources for parents and commissioners of services which will be available at the end of 2012.
NAFIS and RADAR will be disseminating these resources to parents and carers via Family Information Services and other networks. Some of these resources will also be available on this area of the website. Throughout the course of the project we wil be adding case studies of good practice in Family Information Services as well as testimonials from parents and young people who have used personal budgets.
Further information about previous projects we have worked on including the London Childcare Network.
Making More Great and Affordable Childcare a Reality