Finding and paying for childcare can be inhibiting for people trying to return to or remain in work. This is particularly the case in London where childcare can be four times as expensive as elsewhere. The EQUAL BetterCUP DP comprised 11 complimentary projects, the majority of which were focused upon individual beneficiaries and assisting them to increase their employability. The overall focus of the programme was childcare for parents and supporting parents who wished to enter employment in childcare.
- Tackle discrimination for parents accessing training/employment opportunities.
- Focus on childcare, concentrating on the individual rather than operating through relevant agencies.
Peer evaluation groups were established within each of the pilot areas. Proposals for the development of the work programme were led and advised by the target group. The most powerful agents for change in this case are often the target group themselves. It is worth stating that most organisations within the partnership (Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, NACRO, RPS Rainer, Fairbridge, Princes Trust etc.) base much of the development of their programmes out of user involvement forums and see empowerment of young people as one of the keys to escaping social exclusion and building social inclusion.
Target Beneficiary groups
Beneficiaries included lone parents, refugees, asylum seekers and ethnic minority parents. BetterCUP Childcare established a user involvement working group, which comprised young offenders working with the DP’s partners, both in custody and resettling into the community. It also included ex-offenders who have progressed into employment. It was intended that this group would remain formed with rotating members.
Change in attitudes in Camden local authority and in some businesses, by trying to promote the advantages to business of family friendly policies.