How can we explore the idea of having affordable after-school childcare provision for 3-11 year old’s at Robinswood Primary Academy.
2017 – Present
Real Ideas Organisation, Connected Schools Programme
The RIO solution
Working with the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) through the Connected Schools programme, the School invited members of the local community, parents and staff to a ‘Make things happen’ event in April 2017. The event presented the idea of the after-school clubs to the local community and asked them to think about how this could work, by identifying local partners and community assets in the area to support it. At the event, RIO presented some socially enterprising models, other childcare providers in the UK have used, which led to a group discussion about a co-operative approach to running the after-school childcare, i.e. where those who can afford it pay and those who can’t can get sessions for free in return for giving their time back through volunteering.
It was agreed collectively, that in doing this, local parents could be supported in gaining necessary work experience to support them when seeking new employment or returning to work and it would open up the opportunity to partner with training providers, so qualifications may be gained at the same time.
After a successful event, a sub-group co-ordinated by RIO coined ‘Cultural Matson’ formed, where local community players and businesses came together to see how they could work more collaboratively – both to support the after-school club and, more widely to offer activities and opportunities for the children and families in the Matson community.
A taste of success?
In September 2017, a taster evening took place, inviting all children along to an ‘after-school club’ session. Artspace Cinderford – a member of Create Gloucestershire delivered circus skills and arts activities and parents and children had the opportunity to speak to school staff about the provision.
The taster was a residing success, seeing 26 children attend and as a result, the after-school clubs will start in December 2017, running 3 evenings a week, looking to run 5 days a week in the new year.
As part of the Connected Schools programme, RIO supported the school to run a crowdfunding campaign during October to secure start-up costs for the clubs to start. Another success, this exceeded its £1000 target, raising a total of £1200 through a handful of donations – most markedly from Gloucester Services, who donated their carrier bag fee sales to the school.
Stats and Facts
- Challenges are unemployment, lack of enough affordable childcare places and lack of transport links
- £1200 donated for start-up costs
- Organisations involved include: Create Gloucestershire, Gloucester Community Homes, Matson Library and Gloucester Gateway Trust
How The Project Was Received
“"The one thing you struggle with when you are getting back to work is the hours – you can’t always have the hours you need that fit around school times. The after-school clubs is a brilliant idea as it will help parents get back to work” ”Parent- Robinswood Primary Academy