East Renfrewshire Council is one of nine local authorities involved in a Scottish Government Practicum with the aim of increasing the uptake of early learning and childcare of eligible two year old children living in the Barrhead area to 60% by 30 September 2019. The aims also include:
- To engage with the professional community
- To inform parents of entitlement and benefits
- To remove application process barriers
The team of four is led by the Early Years Development Officer and is supported by an ELC Head of Establishment, ELC Depute Head of Establishment and a Health Visitor from the Barrhead area. The practicum was supported by the Scottish Government faculty with a dedicated mentor.
The project's ambitious target of 60% uptake of placements was achieved and exceeded, with78% uptake. This is down to the dedication, commitment and hard work of all involved. Some of the key activities that helped East Renfrewshire Council to achieve this target were:
- Support for parents/carers in the Barrhead area with the application process
- Simplifying the application process for parents/carers
- Collaborating with parents (parent champions) to support the design and content of publicity materials
- Responding to feedback from parents on the application process
- Informing parents of the important benefits of early learning and childcare for children
- Engaging the professional community and promote this shared agenda.
Benefits and Impact
The benefits and impacts from this project include:
- Increased uptake in two year olds attending early learning and childcare settings
- Supported application process for parents to apply for early learning and childcare
- Greater knowledge among parents of the benefits to children
- Easier application process for parents
As we look to further develop the project and expand the uptake throughout East Renfrewshire some key things, from the project will support how we move forward. These include:
- The strength of the team and the commitment made throughout the practicum and beyond as we consider ‘what next’?
- Being able to understand use of data, ability to reflect and recognise. Further changes which will lead to improvements.
- Appreciation of success is based on 30% tools and 70% relationships which will be a key as we further engage with the professional community.
- Learn and move on from less successful ventures.