Stay & Play with guest Lucie Stephens from NEF

Stay & Play with guest Lucie Stephens from NEF

£2 / session

For many traditional commercial childcare – a childminder or nusery setting can prove expensive and rigid, with long waiting lists, large deposits, rigid contractual days and fees that duplicate the household mortgage or rent payment.

Parent Cooperatives could hold real potential for those wanting flexible, affordable and autonomous childcare.

Parent co-operatives cost up to 50 per cent less to run than standard nurseries, through engaging the parents alongside professionals in the delivery of childcare.

New Economics Foundation have produced a provocation piece written by Sophia Parker, Hannah Lownsbroug and Lucie Stephens that explores the idea further and gives examples of cooperative childcare programmes here in the UK.

Co-production is not about making parents into ‘mini-professionals’; rather, it is a way of recognising that good outcomes in many areas come from the effective bringing together of professional skills and knowledge, and people’s own wisdom and lived experience. The model is increasingly being put into practice across many other sectors and services in the UK – from social care, to mental health, to education – with proven benefits for those involved.

The flexibility of the approach offers a myriad of different methods with ever expanding levels of commitment and organisation. From freelance collaboratives, to employer-based parent co-ops, summer holiday schemes to highly organised preschools with hundreds of participating families.

Cooperative childcare tends to develop through peer-to-peer childcare initiatives from a demonstrated need amongst a peer group who want to develop childcare provision that suits their working patterns, values and lifestyle.

Might a cooperative model work for your family? What are the practical considerations?

On 5th April we have invited Lucie Stephens from New Econmics Foundation to come and share her experience of Childcare Cooperatives and the spectrum of practice she is aware of through her research with NEF.

We are trialing an approached to relaxed presentation as part of the Impact Hub Birmingham Stay and Play, so please feel free to bring children in your care theres plenty for them to play with and the discussion will be informal with space to play and snack.

Impact Hub Stay & Play will meet fortnightly from 10am-11.30am and affords an opportunity for Hub members and non-members and their children to talk, play and socialise together.

We provide a wide range of free-flow activities for children aged 6 months – 5 years, plus a healthy snack and a drink of juice or water. This work is part of #RadicalChildcare an initiative to explore, imagine and invest in bold new possibilities for the future of childcare.

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