The 10 Year Strategy covers the future development and sustainability of early years, childcare and Children’s Centres services as well as extended schools.
Here in Wigan we have developed a partnership document that outlines the important areas of work that we and our partners intend to do by 2008 so that young children and their families have access to a wide range of quality services that are designed to meet their needs. The document is called Delivering the 10 Year Strategy in Wigan(.pdf, 104KB). Please note that the strategy is currently being renewed and updated post 2008.
All planning is focused on the five outcomes from ‘Every Child Matters’ and supports the Children Act 2004 and the Childcare Act 2006. Partnership working and integrated service delivery will be the key to achieving outcomes for children and young people. There are five clear outcomes that everyone involved in delivering children’s services will be expected to work towards, including the early years and childcare sector, they are:
- Be healthy - enjoying good physical and mental health and living a healthy lifestyle
- Stay safe - being protected from harm and neglect
- Enjoy & achieve - getting the most out of life and developing the skills for adulthood
- Make a positive contribution - being involved with the community and society and not engaging in anti-social or offending behaviour
- Achieve economic well-being - not being prevented by economic disadvantage from achieving their full potential in life
Children’s Centres will be particularly important in helping to deliver the five outcomes, and ensuring that good quality integrated services are located and delivering in the communities that they are most needed. Each Children’s Centre will be expected to deliver to a core offer as well as meet the Sure Start Principles. The Core Offer is:
- Early education integrated with day care:
- for babies and children until they reach school age
- day care suitable for working parents, 5 days a week , 48 weeks a year,10 hours a day
- nursery places will be open to all, not just families in the immediate area, to provide the best educational outcomes for all children (admission and fee policies will be determined locally)
- support for childminders, who may also offer wrap around care
- early identification of children with special needs and disabilities with inclusive services and support for their families
- Family support and parental outreach:
- Visits to all children in the catchment area within two months of birth
- Access to specialist services
- Parenting support and information as well as specific support for families in need and ‘hard to reach’ families
- Providing information and advice on parenting skills at significant transition points for the family (e.g. pre birth, early days, settling into childcare)
- Increasing parents' understanding of their child's development
- Increasing the involvement of fathers
- Child and family health services:
- Ante-natal advice and support for parents
- Information and guidance on breast feeding, hygiene, nutrition and safety
- Identification, support and care for those suffering from maternal depression, antenatal and postnatal
- Speech and language and other specialist support
- Smoking cessation interventions
- Links with schools and Children’s Information Services (CIS).
- Links to local schools, extended schools and out of school activities (holiday play schemes, before/after school play & learning)
- Links with Jobcentre Plus:
- Linking in with local arrangements (e.g. via the local authority’s service level agreement) for collaboration with Jobcentre Plus Childcare Partnership Managers
- Encouragement and support for parents who wish to consider training and employment
- Children’s Centres can also offer parents help with accessing training, work, advice and information and may well offer a range of other services, including:
- Effective links with further and higher education institutions, and local training providers
- Training for parents, including English as an Additional Language where relevant, Basic Skills, or parenting classes
- Specialist services for children with disabilities
- Benefits advice, including maternity benefits
- Childcare and other services for older children
The seven Sure Start principles are:
- Working with Parents and Children - Every family should get access to a range of services that will deliver better outcomes for children and parents, meeting their needs and stretching their aspirations.
- Services for Everyone - But not the same level of service for everyone. Families have distinctly different needs, both between different families, in different locations, and across time in the same family. Services should recognise and respond to these varying needs.
- Flexible at Point of Delivery - All services should be designed to encourage access. For example, opening hours, location, transport issues and care for other children in the family need to be considered. Where possible we must enable families to get the health and family support services they need through a single point of contact
- Starting Early - Services for young children and parents should start at the first antenatal visit. This means that not only advice on health in pregnancy, but preparation for parenthood, decisions about returning to work (or indeed, starting to work) after the birth, advice on childcare options and on support services available.
- Respectful and Transparent - Services should be customer driven, whether or not the services are free.
- Community Driven and Professionally Co-ordinated - All professionals with an interest in children and families should be sharing expertise and listening to local people on service priorities. This should be done through consultation and by day to day listening to parents.
- Outcome Driven - All services for children and parents need to have as their core purpose better outcomes for children. The Government needs to acknowledge this by reducing bureaucracy and simplifying funding to ensure a joined up approach with parents. All services for children and parents need to have as their core purpose better outcomes for children.
There is a wide variety of resources and support to help early years and childcare settings and Children’s Centres to work towards meeting the five outcomes.
The types of support include:
- Business and sustainability advice, service development, Ofsted registration and inspection requirements
- Training, qualifications and recruitment opportunities including funding
- Quality assurance, including input from qualified teachers and area Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs), and achievement of Quality Standards
- Inclusion, including dedicated SENCO support and where appropriate Portage and Inclusion Assistant input for individual children and families of children under 5
- Marketing and promotion of services to young children and their families, including the Children’s Information Service, Startwrite newsletter and locally targeted information as well as marketing advisory support
- Support, guidance and training in Child Protection
- Advice and support on Parental Involvement