Issued by City of York Council
City of York Council has been chosen to help develop childcare across the country because of its expertise in the area.
The council’s Childcare Service, which plans, commissions and co-ordinates childcare in York, will take part in a two-year government trial to help other areas develop childcare hubs.
York was chosen because of the success of its award-winning Shared Foundation Partnerships – childcare networks across the city made up of schools, childminders, private nurseries and playgroups – which have been running for a number of years and are similar to the childcare hubs the government is encouraging authorities to set up.
The aim of York’s partnerships – and the national hubs – is to ensure a consistent quality of Early Years education for two to five-year olds, offering parents high quality, flexible childcare.
York’s Shared Foundation Partnerships are very similar to the government’s vision of childcare hubs where childcare settings will improve quality together, can expand to meet demand for places in the local area and support local parents in finding childcare to meet the needs of their family, promoting cooperation, sharing of information and resources, and providing a smooth transition between childcare providers and schools, for the benefit of children and families.
Councillor Janet Looker, Cabinet member for Education, Children, Young People, said: “In York we have long recognised the importance of partnerships in the provision of high quality childcare. I’m delighted that our expertise in this field is now being recognised nationally.”
Barbara Mands, Head of Childcare Strategy said ‘This is a really exciting opportunity for us to share our experience of Shared Foundation Partnerships and raise the profile of York’s unique childcare arrangement across the country.”
Robert Wilkinson Primary School has also been chosen to get involved in the trial and will be working to engage local childminders more fully with their Shared Foundation Partnership, which also includes private nurseries and playgroups within and around Strensall.
Elinor Adams, Lead Teacher for the pilot, said: “We are really looking forward to working with a range of agencies to provide high quality blended childcare for our community. It will also be a great opportunity to strengthen links with our local Children’s Centre at New Earswick.”
York’s Childcare Team will also work with Fishergate Shared Foundation Partnership to further develop them as a childcare hub. Fishergate are already a well established partnership and this work will build on the excellent practice that already happens between all its partners.
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