Project budget6 551 267 €
ERDF amount3 930 760 €
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 partner meetings bring up good topics and time is made for dialogue, deliveries and new ideas. As LP, we challenge our partners to develop new ideas and especially to look at the project and some of its difficulties from another point of view. This strategy ensures that partners learn to think more creatively and innovatively about the main goal of this project.
The research that the knowledge partners have written was very important in our project, as well as the study visits and the interviews with the parents. Each partner indicates that they have learned a lot which enables them to take further and more creative steps in the project. The partners are very different, but each partner has his own expertise that can be shared with the other partners.
There were no outputs to be obtained a such in 2018. Output 5.1, due in 2019 (childcare centre adapted to work on parental involvement and guiding parents to work), was already establised in December 2017. So, two new childcare centres were launched within the project. Parents and families found there way to childcare and were guided to employment, though training and personal development plans.
In 2018 there were 3 partner meetings: in February in Saint Martin Boulogne, June in Wattrelos (focus project management) and November in Kent. Also in 2018 we had a major change and some partners have had some technical modifications. The major change was a change in deadline of Output 8 'Feasibility study for upscaling including policy recommendations based on feedback of a focus group'. This output was planned on 31/08/2019 and now moves to 30/06/2020. This topic is a subject on the PM in Febuary 2019. For details see the justification document.
PP10 is transferring a number of services to a separate education services company, therefore they are introduced as an additional partner PP13.
And as lead partner we assigned a new project leader, who started working on the PACE project in the beginning of January 2019.