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NEWS: Together for Twos project highlights

PACEY has been delivering the Department for Education funded Together for Two Project in England for the past 4 years, as the project ends, we wanted to share just some of the highlights!


The focus was to grow the number of 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 choices in childcare. We worked locally with 7 local authorities talking directly to parents and experienced many “penny dropping” moments where parents had dismissed it initially, and now were able to see the benefits and were supported to take up the offer. Across all seven local authorities over 3,000 parents were spoken to and provided with information and resources. The Working with Two Year olds spotlight page on the website was created providing a range of valuable resources to support the sector.

“As someone for whom English is not the first language, and a mum of bilingual children, I found the section on bilingual children in the setting very informative and helpful. I will definitely apply the tips and advice in my setting”

Then Covid-19 hit
In response to the pandemic we adapted our services to provide practitioners with a range of advice and support on the PACEY website. This included our regularly updated Covid-19 FAQs, and Covid-19 paperwork support. We talked to settings about the changes they had made and we showcased these to parents through our blogs and case studies to help support parents and providers with confidence and navigate them through these particularly difficult times.

Supporting families
We were really mindful of the “extra mile” practitioners go for families, in providing advice and guidance on a range of issues that are not necessarily about the care and development of the child. We launched a dedicated Supporting families area, providing valuable information, resources and organisations that they can signpost to. We teamed up with experts from relate, ICAN, Anna Freud Centre, Social Work England and Homestart.

We launched our parent and practitioner Facebook group, ‘Play to learn - activities to try at home with your child’ which provides every day, low cost activities for parents to support home learning. We have worked with partners to provide engaging and useful content. We also used this group to trial the use of Facebook Lives as a way to share information.

The internet has become an important source of support for parents now, so the service that PACEY provides is really great. Parents value and respect the information because it’s from a professional association. I think that’s really important”.


The project focused on myth busting for both family facing professionals, and parents. We have worked locally and nationally with Job Centre Plus staff to raise awareness of the childcare funding and explain the different types of childcare available, we have run webinars, provided resources and created dedicated pages of support for partners. In addition the team have been able to speak directly to claimants about their childcare needs. We joined forces with MITEY (men in the early years) to challenge perceptions about childcare roles and talked directly to Job Centres about the opportunities that are available. You can hear more in our Podcasts.

The continuous decline in childminder numbers lead us to focus on developing “careers in childcare” webinars where we could talk about a range of opportunities available to anyone thinking about starting a career. We continue to work collaboratively with Local Authorities to find innovative ways to support the sector and ensure sufficiency and parental choice.         

As the project officially comes to an end, we remain committed to ensuring a lasting legacy by maintaining and growing our parental audience and engagement through Play to Learn, seeking opportunities to continue to offer childcare advice directly to parents. As part of our partnership work we will continue to challenge perceptions, maintain effective partnerships and ensure we champion the early years workforce.