Impact Hub Birmingham and F A M A L A M have been successful in securing a small pot of development money from Big Lottery Fund to work to understand what’s needed to make Birmingham & the Black Country a home for system wide innovation around childcare, children and families.
There are four main phases outlined below and we welcome partners who would like to join us for any part of the journey.
Centre for Research in to Early Childhood (CREC)
Over the next 6 months we will work with CREC on a piece of action research with childcare and Early Years practitioners to support responsive, flexible childcare which is respectful of the child’s rights and developmental needs. We recognise the benefits of flexible childcare such as the type we are testing at Impact Hub Birmingham. However, who is the flexibility for? Is it detrimental compared to what we know about children’s development? This piece of research would look at how to provide a responsive, flexible form of childcare which also gives children everything they need, no matter the length of time that the child is being cared for; from a 3 hour creche or a 2 week summer school. It’s about empowering childcare practitioners to be able to assess the developmental needs of the child within flexible provision and to provide high quality provision on demand.
We want to run a 6 month pilot project in Bearwood, Smethwick to explore child-centric projects that are ultimately co-designed and produced by parents, grandparents and the local community. We want to explore child & young person-centric projects that will bolster overall community health and through co-design processes engage families in the design and delivery of shared community childcare.
Moving Outside of our Network
For this strand we will deliver high quality & creative #RadicalChildcare workshops out in the community including at community hubs, children's centres, with corporate partners and with vulnerable groups. These sessions will explore a series of provocations and give us the opportunity to actively listen, test our assumptions and grow a wider collective intelligence around the issues of raising children in 21st century Britain.
After a successful 2 seasons of our pilot co-creche series, in February this year we launched the Impact Hub Birmingham parent membership. Our Parent Membership gives parents and carers 2 days access to work at Impact Hub Birmingham per month and an additional 12 hours of childcare per month, which is provided every Thursday 10am – 1pm through our crèche with a monthly fee of approx £60. With support from Big Lottery we plan to consolidate our learnings from the 1st year of our 'Parent Membership' including our Playworkers work/trade programme. We will spend time evaluating the model including both the financial and social implications. We will also be reviewing the affect that the programme has had on the parents and children taking part and will curate these learnings into an online learning journal available to download.
The 2nd part of this strand is to gather data asserting our assumption that there has been a rise and interest in this type of childcare (co-working & creche) by freelance parents across the UK and to create a film that further explores this trend (co-working & creche) within the context of changing work patterns (the rise in self employment), and in the rise of collaborative workspaces like Impact Hub Birmingham.
You can read more about our development phase and access our growing collection of toolkits, reports and links to useful things to support #RadicalChildcare movement building by checking the #RadicalChildcare page on the Impact Hub Birmingham website - Here.