Many Family Hubs host a nursery offering daily childcare and this relationship is mutually beneficial, as Kellie Wigley, Community and Partnership Manager in Stockton-on-Tees, explains:
‘The nurseries in our Family Hubs are very well used. The Family Hub brings custom to the nursery, because parents come to the hub as soon as they are expecting. So, they become familiar with the nursery environment well before they are looking for this service. Many of our nurseries’ parents are benefitting from the two-years of free childcare and others are fee paying.
For parents who are attending our courses, they can use the nursery for free childcare. Because the nursery is within the Family Hub site, parents tend to feel more comfortable attending courses knowing that they can easily be reached if needed. The child also benefits from the stimulus and socialising opportunity. Using the nursery for short sessions, is the perfect way for parents who may be more reluctant to use formal childcare to be reassured and can encourage them to take up funded childcare so that they can return to work.
The Family Hub staff can get to know nursery parents in a relaxed way when they drop off and pick up each day. Consequently, when a family faces challenges, it is natural for the hub staff to step up and offer support. Similarly, when families come to the hub for help, hub staff can easily access nursery staff for immediate advice and ideas. Nursery staff are also familiar with the wider family hub services and can recommend these to families whenever need occurs.’