childwise Spring 2013 now available!
This issue gives you details about changes to the benefits and tax credit system which will start to take effect later this year. We focus on volunteering in childcare with stories of how volunteering has turned around some parents' lives. There's information about some of our partner projects as well as details of the Family Friendly award winners.
Online survey for working parents
Are you a working parent with children aged 0- 12? You are invited to take part in an online survey conducted by the University of Manchester. We are studying how working mothers and fathers organize child-care, an increasingly pressing issue in a 24-hour economy where more and more parents have to work flexible hours or evenings, nights and weekends.
What kind of questions is the survey asking?
- Do you work standard or non-standard hours?
- How do you arrange child care?
- What factors enhance your and your children’s well-being?
Filling in the survey will take about 20-30 minutes. All answers will be anonymous. You can access the survey through our project website www.manchester.ac.uk/families24-7 under the ‘Questionnaire’ tab.
The survey will remain open until 20 December 2012.
'Make it work' campaign for single parents
Gingerbread, the charity for single parents, is running a new campaign to push for changes which will make it easier for single parents to find a decent job and provide for their families. The campaign is calling on the government and employers to:
Make work a guaranteed route out of poverty for single parents
Get 250,000 more single parents into work by 2020
Employ a different attitude to work and school hours
Unlock single parents' skills and potential.
Find out more and add your voice to the campaign by visiting www.gingerbread.org.uk/makeitwork.
'Sandwich caring' survey
More and more parents are juggling looking after young children with caring for older or disabled loved ones – which is sometimes called 'sandwich caring.' Daycare Trust is supporting a piece of research by Carers UK and Employers for Carers which aims to better understand the extra pressure these multiple caring responsibilities have on families.
You can complete the survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/sandwich_caring until 28th October and it will only take around 15 minutes.
Supporting Grandparents who provide childcare
Recent research by Daycare Trust shows that 36 per cent of families get help with childcare from grandparents. This amounts to 4 million grandparent carers in the UK providing almost 10 hours of childcare each week.
Daycare Trust is undertaking various peices of work to understand the needs of grandparents who provide childcare, and develop services and information to support them.
We are working with the Grandparents Association on a two year Department for Education funded project, around supporting grandparents who provide childcare.
We are contributing articles for grandparents at www.grandparents-association.org.uk covering topics such as home learning; communicating with your grandchildren's nursery or pre-school; providing quality childcare at home and understanding the early years foundation stage.
We have also been holding a series of workshops around supporting and reaching out to grandparents who provide childcare for their grandchildren. The events are open to grandparents, family support workers, FIS and children's centre out-reach workers to share ideas and good practice. Further details of forth-coming workshops will be here soon.
Following the first few workshops and focus groups, we have compiled a briefing paper for professionals supporting families, outlining some of the feedback that grandparents and professionals have told us. Download a copy here.
A guide for disabled parents: Choosing and paying for childcare
Disabled parents often report to us that they struggle to find childcare which works for their family, and that once they find suitable childcare, it is very difficult to find help paying for it. As a result, we have produced this guide to help disabled parents and their children benefit from high-quality childcare.
The guide offers step by step guidance for parents wishing to get help from social services with things like childcare. It also describes what other financial support is available for disabled parents to help pay for the cost of childcare.
Additionally, the guide includes information about what your childcare options are and offers tips for choosing the best childcare to suit you and your children. It covers what legislation and organisations can help you if have difficulty finding childcare, using childcare, or working with social services.
Get your free copy now!
New website helps students with children prepare for university life
In 2009, the National Union of Students (NUS) conducted the first UK-wide research into the experience of student parents, which highlighted the need for better information and guidance, particularly around student finance. The new website, www.studentparents.org, is a practical response to this, developed by a consortium of organisations, led by education charity BrightsideUNIAID and funded by the Nuffield Foundation.
Studentparents.org provides a range of online information and tools including;
- ‘Jargon buster' to provide clear information about student support.
- Budget calculator with information about financial support and tools to build their own budget.
- Tips on preparing for higher education, including time management, childcare options and study skills.
- Case studies from students already balancing higher education with parenthood.
Visit the website for further information: www.studentparents.org.
Prepared to share your childcare experiences? Then join our Parent Panel...
Often, when childcare issues hit the headlines, or when the media are covering our campaigns they want parents to give their perspective, and case studies to tell their stories. We know there are loads of parents out there with both strong opinions and powerful stories about childcare to share, so what we're looking to do now is bring these people together, train them up as our ‘Parent Panel' and let their voices be heard.
Become a member of our Parent Network
If you are you are parent or carer and are interested to find out more about childcare and want to have your say, then why not join our Parent Network - it is free to join.