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Parent's eye: Building a vision of equality and inclusion in child care services

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Daycare Trust
Publication Date: 
1 Oct 2003

Available in print for order (see SOURCE) and online for download.

This report summarizes the work and findings of the Parent's Eye project, focused on issues in child care for black and minority ethnic families in England. The project has been undertaken by Daycare Trust and funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. It raises some key challenges for policymakers, practitioners, parents and children.

The project report makes several key recommendations:

- All early years settings should be enabled to embrace and fully implement the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 as it relates to childcare services.

- Government nationally and locally should commit to regularly monitoring the impact of the National Child care Strategy for black and minority ethnic groups.

On workforce issues, existing work to recruit more staff from black and minority ethnic groups should be evaluated and developed to build representative workforces at all levels.

The project found that:

- Child care services that are inclusive and engage the communities they serve provide parents with the best experiences of childcare;

- Trust in childcare services is critical, especially for families where childcare is not a part of their previous cultural experience;

- Child care can both aid and benefit from greater understanding and involvement of different cultures;

- Parents from all backgrounds can benefit from the support of child care services, which can help overcome exclusion and isolation;

- Positive childcare experiences can help challenge racism

Child care is recognised as a key service for families experiencing poverty, and has a proven impact on the health, social development and educational attainment of children.