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5.1.18 Guidance and Process for Supported Childcare

Contents

  1. Guidance
  2. Process


1. Guidance

This guidance is intended for all Children’s Services practitioners, managers and policy leads. The guidance is to support the workforce to develop a consistent approach towards implementing the supported childcare programme with families and carers across Lincolnshire.

Childcare

Sufficient childcare is defined in Section 6 of the CA 2006 as "sufficient to meet the requirements of parents in the local authority’s area who require childcare in order to enable them to":

  1. Take up, or remain in, work; or
  2. Undertake education or training which could reasonably be expected to assist them to obtain work.

Extended Services Core Offer

Primary schools should provide access to high-quality childcare, 8am-6pm, five days a week, 48 weeks a year, based on community need. Secondary schools do not need to provide formal childcare - although some choose to do so - but their activity programmes before and after school need to provide a safe, supervised place to be.

Schools should offer access to a varied menu of study support activities, including:

  • ‘Catch up’ and ‘stretch’ activities; homework clubs;
  • Arts activities, eg. dance, drama, arts and crafts;
  • Sports activities (at least two hours a week for those who want it);
  • Other recreational activities, eg. Special-interest clubs, music tuition, modern foreign languages, volunteering, business and enterprise activities, visits to museums and galleries.

Swift and easy access begins with preventative work to ensure the health and well-being of all pupils. For children with additional needs, schools should work closely with multi-agency or locality teams developed under the children's trust arrangements to ensure that these are identified and supported in school as early as possible. In more serious cases, the child or young person will need to be referred to services outside the school. In those cases, effective arrangements will ensure timely and accurate assessment, referral and intervention, and good links between the child, family, school and the service providers concerned.

Schools should provide access to parenting support, including information sessions around transition, signposting to services, parenting groups and family learning sessions.

Schools ensure they provide community access to appropriate facilities, such as ICT suites, sports and arts facilities, and also to adult learning.

Children’s Centres

Sure Start Children’s Centre’s in Lincolnshire are providing integrated services for 0-5 year olds and their families. Children’s Centre’s are the key to improving outcomes and reducing inequalities. Childcare is integral to Children's Centre’s and registered childcare providers play a key role in delivering services as part of the National agenda, helping to ensure that children, families and communities across Lincolnshire have access to the best in quality childcare, combined with education, parenting support and family health services.

This is a Targeted scheme used to support families with differing needs. The scheme is a short term support for families and should be seen as part of a wider family support plan.

This scheme must be open to all Children and Young people who meet the criteria including Children and Young people with a disability. This programme is intended to dovetail with the Aiming High for disabled children short breaks programme. This programme is aimed at increasing the volume, range, and access to short breaks provision in Lincolnshire.

This programme is aimed at increasing the volume, and access to short breaks provision in Lincolnshire, the service should be accessible to all those requiring it regardless of race, gender, disability, age, religion and belief and sexual orientation.

The service will ensure additional needs according to race, gender, disability, age, religion and belief and sexual orientation are considered and met as far as possible.

Aims

  • To support families within the community by via a Team around the Child plan or single agency plan. To enable families to access local support services;
  • To enable child/children to meet the Every Child Matters outcomes by accessing childcare/respite services;
  • To increase the take up of formal childcare by low income families (National indicator NI118);
  • To link family support plans to work related activities;
  • To provide targeted support for families with Children and young people aged 0-14yrs (up to 18 for those with additional needs) (Childcare Act, 2006).

Objectives

  • To support short term access to childcare as part of a holistic family support plan;
  • To link to other funding sources e.g. access to varied menu of activities through the extended provision cluster funding and the economically disadvantage subsidy fund;
  • To work with a range of local childcare providers/service providers for young people as part of an integrated approach to improving outcomes for children;
  • To support families with children 6 weeks -14yrs.(18yrs with a disability);
  • To Improve opportunities for parents and children by bridging the gap for those living in households where parents are in receipt of a means tested benefit and/or are a family in crisis.

Criteria for Supported Childcare, Supervised Activity 6 Months -14yrs (18yrs with a Disability)

Each case will be assessed on a case by case basis using the following criteria; however we recognise that families will have unique circumstances where responsive local judgements may need to be made.

Access

Due to the rural nature of the county transport needs will be assessed on a case by case basis. In the case of children and young people who need assistance with transport and who meet the Aiming high criteria (see below) funding to assist with transport is available as long as the assessed need is supported.

Aiming High Groups of Children Are:

Group A - Children and Young People with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (Who have severe learning disabilities or behaviour which is challenging) OR those children and young people whose behaviour is associated with other impairments such as severe learning disabilities.

Group B - Children and Young People with complex health needs including those with disability and life limiting conditions, and /or those who require palliative care and /or those with associated impairments such as cognitive or sensory impairments and/or have moving /handling needs and/or require special equipment/adaptations.

Exemptions

  • Families in receipt of the Childcare tax credit element of Working Families Tax Credit;
  • Looked After Children - The Local Authority supports access to service provision as a corporate parent;
  • Children aged 2, 3 and 4 yrs who are eligible to access an Early Years Educational Entitlement details are outlined in the 2yr old pilot guidance and the code of practice 2009 Locality teams may wish to consider a top up e.g. in holidays;
  • Families in receipt of or eligible for access to funding via or linked to Job centre plus e.g. New deal for lone parents;
  • Families who are receipt of:- this is not an exhaustive list more information is available from the Family Information Service:
    1. Health service bursaries (for those studying);
    2. Care to learn grant (16-19yrs students);
    3. Access/hardship grants administered by colleges and Universities;
    4. Childcare Support grant (students on benefits or low incomes);
    5. Career Development loan Department for Children Schools and Families for 18yr olds who are completing a vocational course.

Definition of a Supported Place

This means that families, children  and young people can access sessions at a local childcare provider, or appropriate service provider (for older children) at no cost to the parent/carer.

The following situations could qualify a family for the service: -

  • A child/Young person who is at significant risk of not meeting one or more of the ECM outcomes;
  • Parents/carers who are approaching/or at crisis point and need support. This can include parents of disabled children so that we can begin to meet our legal duty to routinely provide short breaks to prevent crisis occurring;
  • Families who are seeking work related activities and are ineligible for other funding.

Length of Offer

The offer is intended as a one off intervention programme and is time limited to:-

Maximum of 24weeks.

A minimum of 1 review will be required for each offer and 6 weekly thereafter (this can be an already established Team Around The Child review meeting).

Quality

Locality teams are charged with using providers who have a current Good or Outstanding Ofsted Judgement when supporting a placement to ensure the best possible environment for children and young people.

0-5’s- Early Year’s Childcare

The Birth to Five service lead on the development of quality provision across the county for the 0-5’s, linking with the central, locality teams and partners to ensure the provision is appropriate to meet the needs of the child and their family. They use a Red, Amber, Green rating system and other mechanisms to judge quality.

4-14’s (18) - Out of School Childcare

4 Children provide the quality support service to the Out of school sector in Lincolnshire, working with locality teams and schools to ensure the provision is appropriate to meet the needs of the child and their family.

They use a Red, Amber, Green rating system to judge quality.

0-14’s (18) Childminding

The NCMA provide the development and quality support service for childminders in Lincolnshire. They use a Red, Amber Green rating assessment system similar to those above. It is important to note that this RAG rating links to both the development and quality status of providers and that local information is key to decision making.

Funding for Supported Childcare, the Following Should be Considered

  • Where a child has acute needs- Child In Need, section 17 funding could be pooled with supported Childcare funding to support families with acute needs;
  • Locality teams should consider collaborative funding for all cases e.g. targeted mental health project.


2. Process

This process is intended for all Children’s Services practitioners, managers and policy leads. The process is to support the workforce to develop a consistent approach towards implementing the supported childcare programme with families and carers across Lincolnshire.

This process document is directly linked to and should be used in conjunction with the Supported Childcare Guidance document.

Referrals

These will be considered where:-

  • A family self refers;
  • An external agency makes a referral;
  • Staff within Children’s Services raises a family.

All children/families accessing the scheme will need a Team around the Child assessment completed to identify the unmet need (newly completed assessments must be logged with the Customer Service Centre, Tel No: 01522 782111) or a copy of a child’s plan (TAC, CIN or CP). This must be attached to the application for the supported childcare scheme.

Quality

The following should be considered:

Settings Causing Concern- (SCC)

It is important to note that some childcare providers are placed into this category for other reasons that may not necessarily impact on a child’s outcome. This information is available on a rolling basis from the quality teams listed below.

0-5’s- Early Year’s Childcare

The Birth to Five service lead on the development of quality provision across the county for the 0-5’s, linking with the central, locality teams and partners to ensure the provision is appropriate to meet the needs of the child and their family. They use a Red, Amber, Green rating system and other mechanisms to judge quality.

This is subject to constant change updated weekly grids are available from The Birth to Five Service.

The Birth to Five Service has a robust SCC process in place that is linked to locality teams.

4-14’s (18) - Out of School Childcare

4 Children provide the quality support service to the Out of school sector in Lincolnshire, working with locality teams and schools to ensure the provision is appropriate to meet the needs of the child and their family.

They use a Red, Amber, and Green rating system to judge quality.

4 Children have begun to join this process up in cases where a setting offers an integrated service for both early years and Out of school. 4 Children are in the process of developing a more formal process for Out of school providers who are a SCC in collaboration with extended provision. This process will need to link to locality teams.

0-14’s (18) Childminding

The NCMA provide the development and quality support service for childminders in Lincolnshire. They use a Red, Amber Green rating assessment system similar to those above. It is important to note that this RAG rating links to both the development and quality status of providers and that local information is key to decision making.

No formal process is yet in place for Childminders causing concern. This area will be developed in the near future with partners if you are seeking a placement with a childminder please contact the NCMA Lincolnshire team directly.

How this Works for Locality Based Practitioners

  1. Parents are allocated a number of hours/budget agreed at the end of the CAF assessment (All completed assessments must be logged with the Customer Service Centre, Tel No: 01522782111) or during the Team Around The Child process, as part of the child’s plan agreed with either the lead professional/the Principal Practitioner/Preventative worker;
  2. If a parent chooses to use formal childcare for 0-7’s this must be Ofsted registered and not be a "Setting causing concern" Professionals are able to access this information from the locality teams/quality teams;
  3. Once approved the lead professional/Lead Social Worker will make contact with the provider to confirm arrangements. The provider is expected to complete a report and communicate with the lead professional;
  4. The provider invoices the locality team for the sessions at either the end of a session if below 3 weeks or every 6 weeks. The lead professional/Lead Social Worker will inform the provider of the invoicing details;
  5. The impact reviews (minimum of 1) and 6 weekly thereafter will be led by the lead professional/Lead Social Worker who will make further recommendations;
  6. The preventative worker will be the responsible gatekeeper for the 0-5 year olds in the locality (this may change pending the outcome of the current discussion paper proposal to increase the age range);

    Locality teams will nominate a designated person to assume responsibility for the 5-14 (up to 18yrs for children with additional needs.

Click here to view the Supported Childcare Process Flowchart.

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