Together for Twos is a Department for Education grant funded project in England until March 2020 (now extended to September 2020). The project will provide national and direct local interventions to:
- Grow the number of disadvantaged families taking up the 2-year-old offer with childminders by supporting Health Visitors and Job Centre Plus staff to support families understanding of the benefits of both using the entitlement and choosing a childminder.
- Where appropriate grow the number of childminders offering the entitlement with targeted social media campaigns, development of online resources to support the delivery of early years entitlement and by supporting Job Centre Plus with information about how to become a childminder or childminding assistant.
- Increase number of delivery partnerships between schools, nurseries and childminders in target areas by promoting benefits and existing good practice.
PACEY is delighted to be working with seven local authorities to support the parental take up of the 2-year-old offer with a focus on the benefits of using a childminder. We will be working together to dispel some of the myths about childminding as either a career or childcare choice as well as providing information and resources to Children's Centres and health care professionals to be shared with parents during the delivery of the healthy child programme and integrated review.
Childminding Development Workers have been recruited to work in partnership with local authority teams and support their existing work plans around the early years entitlement. Links have also been made with Job Centre Plus staff, health colleagues and Children Centres to provide information and support to parents as they consider their options. These options may include taking up a training course, looking for work or taking some time for themselves. To further support this, information will be available through face to face events where parents can meet childminders and learn more about the unique benefits of using this form of childcare.
To tackle the need to increase delivery partnerships between schools, nurseries and childminders in the target areas, PACEY will work with the seven local authorities to identify existing delivery partnerships and promote good practice as well as invite others to explore the benefits of childminders.
Nationally, PACEY is working with Job Centre Plus (JCP) to provide resources and guidance to JCP staff across England about early years entitlements, choosing childcare and childcare careers, specifically childminding. Alongside this PACEY is producing a range of free digital tools to help childminders working with 2-year-olds and delivering the entitlement, tools to help both JCP staff and health visitors when talking to parents and information for parents too about the value of their interactions with their children and the benefits for all in taking up the offer.
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