Parent Champions volunteer for a few hours a week to talk with other parents about childcare and other family services. Being parents they can chat in a more informal way and share their own positive experiences of using local services. They meet parents in all sorts of places such as playgrounds, markets, libraries and local play groups. They are supported by the local authority, a children's centre or a local community organisation.
The Parent Champions peer-to-peer model was pioneered by the Family and Childcare Trust in 2007, to reach parents missing out on information about childcare and early learning services. Ongoing funding has been provided by the Department of Education to enable us to support those setting up Parent Champion schemes, and in 2012 we launched the Parent Champions National Network.
For 2015-16 our funded work includes a formal partnership with Contact A Family to pilot a model with parents of children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities), and specific support to schemes in areas with large BME communities and low take-up of the free early education places for two-year-olds. The model is evolving to reach a whole range of families beyond just the early years with a number of schemes already adapting it to also include health and other information.
Family and Childcare Trust's Parent Champions' DVD
The Parent Champions resources are exclusively for members of the Parent Champions National Network. It includes the Parent Champions toolkit, Parent Champions reference guide, and small grants information. Please email Gayle Baker, Gayle@familyandchildcaretrust.org if you are a member of the National Network and would like access to these resources.
If you are interested in finding out more Parent Champions, and any support we can provide please contact:
020 7940 7513