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Improving Information Children’s Information Services in Wales Phyllis Matthews Children’s Information Bureau Manager Alma Belles Children’s Information.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Information Children’s Information Services in Wales Phyllis Matthews Children’s Information Bureau Manager Alma Belles Children’s Information."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Improving Information Children’s Information Services in Wales Phyllis Matthews Children’s Information Bureau Manager Alma Belles Children’s Information Bureau Assistant Manager

3 Outline of presentation Statutory basis of CIS Where are we now in Wrexham Where do we need to be by April ‘08 Where are we now in Wales What resources do we need

4 Statutory basis of Children’s Information Services Section 118A of the Schools Standards & Framework Act 1998 (as amended by the Education Act 2002) places a duty on Local Authorities to: “establish and maintain a service providing information to the public on childcare and related services in the area”.

5 Statutory basis of Children’s Information Services Section 27 of the Childcare Act 2006 requires Local Authorities: to ensure that parents of children and young people aged 0-19 have access to the full range of information they may need as parents

6 What is the Children’s Information Bureau? The Centre for Information on all children’s services in Wrexham County Borough (0-14)

7 Children’s Information Bureau Opened in October 1995 First Children’s Information Service in Wales Achieved National Quality Award in February 2004 and September 2007

8 What information does the CIB provide? Childminders Day Nurseries Playgroups Out of School Clubs Open Access Playschemes Health, Education and Social Services Leisure Activities Local and national organisations

9 What else does the CIB provide? Books and leaflets on parenting and childcare Information files on a wide range of topics Help for parents of children with special needs National helplines for parents

10 What other services does the CIB provide? Training for childcare workers Employer support programme Support for unemployed parents Childminder start up grants Sustainability grants Assisted places scheme Support to 22 CIS in Wales

11 Who uses the service? Over 5,000 enquiries a year from: Parents /carers Professionals Childcare providers Students Voluntary organisations Employers Other CIS

12 What do they want to know? Childcare Leisure Funding Education Setting up a Business Children’s Issues Parenting Training courses Health Work-Life Balance Special needs

13 How do they contact the service? Telephone helpline with 24 hour answerphone facility Drop-in centre open Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm WCBC Website Letter/ Outreach service Touch Screen Kiosks

14 What do they think of the service? Monitoring form completed for every enquiry received Comments form sent out or given out to every enquirer 98% of enquirers rated the service either very good or excellent over the 12 month period April ’06 - March ‘07

15 Comments received “I would just like to thank you for all the extra information given on leisure activities. I didn’t realise there was so much to do with your baby.” “It was the information and support you gave me that aided my case and gave me strength to fight my corner. Thank you so much.” “Diolch yn fawr iawn am parchu fyng iaith – mae’r teulu yn ddwyieithog. Digonedd o gwybodaeth diolch.”

16 CIB staffing Manager Assistant Manager 2 Information Officers 3 Information Assistants Training Officer Childcare Funding Officer Parents’ Advisor (Genesis) Project Support Officer (Genesis) Work-Life Balance Information Officer (Equal)

17 Section 27 of Childcare Act Key features: Provision of information, advice and support to parents on childcare provided in the area Provision of information on any other services, facilities or publications, which may be of benefit to parents, children or young people The information service must be accessible to all persons who may benefit from it, in particular, persons who might otherwise have difficulty in taking advantage of it.

18 Information to be provided Children and Young People’s Plan Education and family learning services Health and well-being services Play, sport and other recreational facilities Social care and family support Youth services Financial and legal services Child development Staying safe Local and national services for disabled children and young people Services promoting the use of the Welsh language

19 Baseline assessment of CIS A survey was recently carried out to find out how prepared CIS are to meet the requirements of Section 27 of the Childcare Act. The results are categorised as follows: Childcare Information Other information Accessibility

20 Childcare Information All CIS provide information, advice and assistance to parents or prospective parents who use, or propose to use, childcare provided in the area of the local authority

21 Other Information

22 Areas for improvement Child development Staying safe Local and National services for Disabled Children and Young People

23 Areas of excellence Financial and legal services/Work Life Balance Services promoting the use of the Welsh Language Play, sports and other recreational facilities Youth services

24 Accessibility: location Council Office Shop front Integrated Children’s Centre Library

25 Accessibility: opening hours/services Office hours Websites Interview rooms Free phone Answer phone Kiosks

26 Accessibility: areas for improvement Working with: Local employers Health Clinics Community Focused Schools People who have difficulty in taking advantage of the service

27 Accessibility: examples of good practice Working with : Integrated Children’s Centres Jobcentre Plus Genesis Cymru.Wales Libraries Partners in the community

28 Resources: staffing Staffing levels to meet existing duties: 2.5 telephone help-line 3.5 drop-in centre Staffing levels to meet new duties: An additional full-time Outreach Officer An additional half-time Information Officer

29 Resources: revenue costs Costs will vary according to the 0-19 population, number of childcare settings and local circumstances. As a minimum a CIS would require £30,000 running costs plus staffing costs

30 Commitment: Local Authority CIS representation on strategic partnerships Services are staffed by trained, qualified information professionals Adequate resources

31 Commitment: Welsh Assembly Government Vision “Our vision for Children’s Information Services is that they are a strong, visible and mainstream part of local authority provision, widely understood and used by families.” The Childcare Strategy for Wales: Childcare is for Children November 2005.


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