Place Category: Communities
First Steps Bath’s mission is “To work in partnership with children, families, colleagues and the community by being a responsive, informed, reflective and innovative provider of early years’ education, childcare and integrated family services” In pursuing this mission First Steps will deliver value to:
•Children, through access to quality integrated care, play and early learning opportunities
•Families, through a range of services which are responsive to their individual needs with an emphasis on bringing services to families
•Staff, by maintaining a stimulating environment that encourages innovation and best practice and developing and implementing a coherent range of policies understood and valued by all
•Other stakeholders, through our commitment to working collaboratively with professionals from other disciplines, sharing expertise and exploiting opportunities in areas of common interest
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated January 2018
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
- Child Poverty and educational inequalities
- Access to employment and education for parents and carers
- Increasing numbers of children from low income families reaching a good level of development at the end of their foundation stage. (Foundation Stage Profile Data on families entitled to Free School Meals)
- Increasing numbers of families supported by a wage earner. (Employment and unemployment data, nomis official labour market statistics) (workless household data- ONS annual population survey)
Social Benefits Delivered:
- 110 Quality Childcare and education places for babies, toddlers and pre-school children
- Opportunities for parents to increase their own learning about child development and play
- 2 training places for local people
- Speaking up for early years, speaking truth to power and ensuring that families in the most deprived areas receive the support they need
- Statistics showing the % of Children in Bath West who reach a good level of development at the end of their foundation stage have risen steadily since 2014
- Children in receipt of free school meals do as well as their peers in school
- More children access higher education
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
- All year around childcare with family support home visiting, groups for parents and children, Parent led groups addressing specific issues
- Development of a volunteering course providing the information confidence and sense of self-worth to re-join education and employment
- Provision of a hot nutritious lunch to children form low income families
- 1 training place for a local parent.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
- Parents: Childcare place for their child, opportunity to access training and employment
- Children: Child education, opportunity for arriving in school ready to learn
- Adults: opportunity to train in Early Years and Childcare
- Delivery of high quality all year around day care provision in an area where commercial business would struggle to make a profit
Health and Social Care
- Opportunities to reach families through trusted relationships formed through child care delivery
- Ability to make use of safe, well maintained, child centres spaces to meet with families
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
- EYFS data from the areas demonstrates an increase in the number of children who are reaching a good level of development steady increase since 2013
- Numbers of families who report sustained change have taken place (100 at the end of quarter 2 2017)
- This is reported to trustees quarterly and annually to stakeholders
- Parent and Carers annual consultation (2017 – 87% of families strongly agreed that they were happy with their experience of First Steps services
The below questions are not mandatory, but Mark holders are encouraged to answer them where possible, to provide a fuller account of their social outcomes and the social value they create.
5) How many people have benefitted from your actions?
- 763 children received a service from First Steps
- 301 families attended a specialist service
- 149 families made a sustained change that impacted on their child*
- 123 children received a free lunch
- We worked in 4 community locations
*These changes were in relation to their ability to keep children safe, meet their emotional needs, improve parental ability to set boundaries and to keep a family routine and to provide a home and financial security.
6) What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that helps illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
Case Study 1
Health visitor referred a family for behaviour support with her child. Referral stated that this parent was struggling to manage her child’s behaviour at home.
Family Support Worker (FSW) was allocated to the case and undertook an initial home visit where it was clear that in order to offer behavioural support, which is needed, that the primary concern of the family was with finances. As a lone parent on a zero hours contract who had been signed off sick there was no income into the family. The welfare reforms meant that the family would need to claim Universal Credit. Mum was frightened about doing this because of the length of time it takes to settle a claim. The impact of the anxiety caused by extreme poverty and mounting debt was having a huge impact on Mums mental health and her ability to parent effectively.
This parent is pregnant with her third child and was off work due to sickness. This parent was due to be receiving statuary sick pay (SSP) from her employer. Her employer then wrote a letter to stating that due to her average earnings she was not entitled SSP. This parent then showed her wage slips to her family support worker to prove that her average earnings met the required amount which deems her eligible for SSP.
Currently this parent has low finances to cover basic household needs and is also in dispute with her employer. This is causing this parent extreme stress and anxiety on top of this, threatening Bailiff letters are arriving at the family home. Mum was supported to seek advice from the CAB who gave her useful information and told her to fill out ACAS resolutions to support her with legal action.
Family services issued Food bank vouchers which were given to this parent.
FSW contacted the DWP on an emergency basis to cover cost of debt of rising arrears. A discretionary housing payment has been applied for. FSW contacted the Job-centre for advice and gave parent Maternity allowance forms to fill out and advised parent to apply for the UC. FSW will continue to support the family
- Improved financial situation
- Better informed about support which is currently available
Family feels more supported and more able to cope when her new baby arrives. Mum feels that her debt burden is more under control. She is receiving support to make her claim for Universal Credit and take legal action against her employer. Mum is very worried about her financial stability moving forwards as she is about to give birth to her third child. After the 2017 Welfare Reforms there is no entitlement to benefits for third children beyond Child Benefit.
Case Study 2
This study describes how a relationship was built and outcomes achieved through outreach with a mum and her two children aged 3 months and 2yrs at the time of engagement.
Mum attended a Holiday Play Activity with a friend. K, the 2 year old child, was displaying very challenging behaviour. She was screaming loudly and running away from Mum and then hysterical when Mum tried to encourage her to go with her. I started talking to mum she disclosed that she did not go anywhere at all. Some family members had brought her with them as they felt she needed to get out. Mum attempted to leave with no verbal discussion but by physically ushering the child along; at this point I managed to chat to mum about transitions and preparing little children for moving on to the next part of their day.
We had a discussion about using words and speaking to her child about what was happening .She then told her child it was “bye bye park, hello lunchtime” and then said what they were having for lunch . This was met with a curious look by the child. I suggested to mum that I could meet with her at Stay and Play and use the group to support her with some strategies to help her manage the challenging behaviour.
The family has the additional challenge of English being their second language and different cultural understanding of parenting.
AcE Assessment started in Stay and Play focusing on Attitude and Disposition to Learn, Creativity. A Family Star was started with Mum identifying a plan for the work with elements of Meeting Emotional Needs and Setting Boundaries being the priority for Mum.
The family attended Stay and Play regularly and I provided individual support for them in the group. K’s behaviour was very challenging and all staff supported Mum and K through stay and play. We used our debrief after group to ensure we were all having a cohesive approach. Through observations and discussions we felt that K needed challenging, for example when she hit another child we tried supported mum to take control. K would scream and cry extremely loudly despite this mum persevered.
I suggested that Mum like to attend the Incredible Years Course. Over several weeks I described the course content. Despite feeling challenged by attending a course not in her first language mum agreed and began to attend. Through the course mum quickly began to build upon what she had already put in place and developed a lot of confidence in providing her child with a positive narrative and lots of positive reinforcement. K blossomed and responded very well especially as mum began to incorporate a lot of positive home learning activities for example washing up, sorting out the washing, etc.
K also really enjoyed the Children’s group, run in conjunction with the Incredible Years Course, with a small number of consistent attendee’s and staff. K’s progress in the group was evidenced through a play diary that is shared with mum.
From our observations during stay and play and the children’s group we began to consider the idea that K had a connecting schema and to provide more activities for her schematic play.
With Mum’s growing confidence in her daughter’s ability to socialize with other children she has enrolled her in a setting and has started a settling in period.
- K’s behaviour has improved allowing her the prospect of building positive relationships with peers. K’s family relationships are more positive
- Mum’s confidence in her ability to manage K’s challenging behaviour has improved
- Mum feels that she has better communication with K she states “I do more and I get involved and she’s calmed down. Wish I had done at start more. Just a totally different girl”
- K is now able to use her brain for learning instead of being confused and distressed
- K is starting in a setting
7) What additional social benefits have you been able to deliver within your core services that distinguish you from other “for shareholder profit” providers?
- Free meals for children from families on low income costing £15K PA
- 3 whole staff training days £3.5K PA
- Fully free government funded childcare with no top up fees for additional services £0.65 per hour per child x 15 hrs per week x 38 weeks x 80 children costing £29K PA
- Rounding up of free government funded childcare for all year round places 47 x 0.5 hrs x 51 weeks x £2.35 = £2.8K PA
8) What other social benefits have you contributed that go beyond your core delivery activities (ones that are completely unrelated to your main services)?
Use of buildings by other service providers - e.g. Early Years lectures at Bath Spa university.
9) What social and environmental benefits have you created from internal operational policies and actions?
- Encourage local employment; 53% of staff live locally
- Recycle all paper, plastic and cardboard
- 5 days paid carers leave PA