Providing Access to Childcare and Employment
Priority AxisTechnological and Social Innovation
Lead partnerStad Mechelen
Date de début01/10/2016
Date de fin31/03/2021
Project budget6 551 263 €
ERDF amount3 930 758 €
A lack of affordable childcare is identified as a major barrier to employment (Resolution Foundation, 2014). By supporting families to access quality ECEC (Early Childhood Education&Care) PACE can improve incomes, enhance participation in society and reduce childpoverty. Research proves impact of good ECEC on child development is visible through the whole school career. (Sylva, Melhuish, Sammons, Siraj-Blatchford,&Taggart,2004). PACE supports parents to return to/enter employment using an accessible childcare as a gateway, and improves the life prospects of vulnerable and deprived families.
PACE establishes research-backed tests that improve access to childcare, with special attention to employment of vulnerable families. PACE offers a method to use parental involvement, voluntary engagement, training and tailored employment programmes to remove barriers to participation, to labour market and society, including building relationships and community spirit. PACE, broadens skills of childcare staff and improves soft skills of volunteers and parents and coaches them towards employment, improving the living conditions and life prospects of vulnerable and deprived families.
Tests to improve childcare access and parent’s employment include centres of excellence, based on cross border learnings. Research, new work methods of childcare and guidance of parents towards employment, policy recommendations and best practices for childcares. Tests to improve parent engagement/awareness including skills training, trust building, self-help, introduction to wider services. PACE will improve vulnerable children’s life prospects through improved early years education, parents’ enlarged employment, training and strengthened community support.
Cross border approach
The 2 Seas area faces changing realities on citizenship of young children and complexity of labour market and requirements from job seekers. PACE develops common solutions to improve access to childcare and using the childcare for the parent’s access to the labour market at the same time. Cross border diverse expertise, common research, development of methods and monitoring of results is needed to achieve impact at 2 Seas’ scale most efficiently. Testing, sharing and blending results in sustainable model for childcare, particularly in settings that engage with vulnerable families.
The PACE project started the 1st October 2016. The overall objective is to establish research-backed tests that improve access to childcare, with special attention to employment of vulnerable families. PACE offers a method to use parental involvement, voluntary engagement, training and tailored employment programmes to remove barriers to participation, to labour market and society, including building relationships and community spirit. PACE broadens skills of childcare staff and improves soft skills of volunteers and parents and coaches them towards employment, improving the living conditions and life prospects of vulnerable and deprived families.
Since the start of the project, 9 partner meetings took place hosted by all partners, a major modification (a new partner was added) and 2 technical modifications were carried out. Every partner has had a a staff turnover, some more than others. A new project leader for the LP was assigned January 1st 2019. In a cross border approach PACE develops common solutions to reach the overall objective.
The 8 outputs that need to be delivered are proceeding according to plan. Some outputs are already delivered, such as O5,6 and 7, directly related to WP4 (Investments). The other deliverables that lead to achieving the other outputs are going as foreseen. Implementing the same methods by all partners can be a real challenge, since there are different legislations, regulations, values, standards, in the participating countries. But what we do have in common is that we all are focusing on the same objective. In a cross border co-operation the partnership discusses what needs to be carried out during partner meetings to find common threads, differences and communalities so partners can learn from each other, can share good practices and improve the methods used.
Cross border co-operation and mutual learning is inspiring, it gives the partners a new, alternative and fresh perspective. The added value of the cross border cooperation is clear: since partners in each country are looking for ways to provide occasional childcare that fit their situation and regulations, a lot of options come into existence that are inspiring for the other countries.
Enhancing access to childcare, new routes to employment, creating a legal and organisational framework to make upscaling possible, are objectives that are almost achieved. Next to this, what counts for the moment is how to get these outputs transferrible and durable.