Who are Parent Champions?
Parent Champions are parent volunteers who give a few hours a week to talk to other parents about the local services available to families. Coram Family and Childcare developed the Parent Champions programme in 2007 to help ‘hard to reach’ parents who miss out on vital information about how to access local family services.
The Parent Champions model is delivered by parents for parents, with the support of a local authority, children’s centre, school or local community organisation.
The Parent Champions National Network provides opportunities to share best-practice, gain a national profile, and use parents' voices to campaign and lobby for policy change.
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Impact of the Parent Champions programme
For over a decade, the Parent Champions programme has transformed the lives of families across the UK as well as the lives of Parent Champions volunteers.
Last year, Parent Champions supported over 20,000 parents. 6,500 two-year-olds took up a free childcare place thanks to the help of a Parent Champion.
Benefits for volunteers
Builds volunteers’ confidence and transferable skills
Creates a pathway to training and employment
Provides opportunities for volunteers to give back to their communities
Benefits for families
Raises parents’ awareness of early years education, childcare and local family services, improving their children’s outcomes
Increases access to free early education for two, three and four-year-olds
Brings families into children’s centres and other community settings
Allows families to be involved in the development of local services
Works to support minority groups and their engagement with services
Benefits for early years professionals
All schools, children’s centres, and childcare settings know that valuing and working with parents improves outcomes for children. Parent Champions schemes can bridge the gap between you and your wider community.
- Encourages take up of your childcare services, particularly free early education for two, three and four-year-olds
- Engages with your local communities, particularly isolated or ‘hard to reach’ parents
- Helps you understand and better meet the needs of your service’s parents
- Encourages parents to participate in parent evenings, support meetings and the development of your services
- Boost children’s educational attainment by encouraging learning in the home
- Increases the uptake of additional services you may offer, such as after school clubs or ESOL classes
We were delighted to welcome our wonderful parent volunteers to this year's conference, held in the QEII Centre at Coram Campus
Our new project, supported by the National Lottery Community fund, will support eight groups of local parents to to combat loneliness while their children are young.
We were proud to celebrate Parent Champions volunteers for their hard work and dedication at the Redbridge Children's Centres Awards 2018.
Last month, we visited Parent Champions East Sussex at Crowborough Children’s Centre with the Department for Education, to learn about the good work they are doing in the community.
Childcare entitlements for 2 and 3-4 year olds are providing benefits for parents and children, but families are missing out because of a lack of information.