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 April 2021
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
First Steps' mission is to alleviate poverty through access to high-quality early years education.
First Steps' pedagogy for children mitigates poverty's impact through rich learning experiences and attuned high-quality care. The flexible and affordable offer to families supports a return to education, training and employment. We aim to reduce the cycle of poverty in the communities in which we operate.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
Our Community Nurseries provide inclusive, flexible learning for children under 5, focusing on those with Special Educational Needs. We support children to attend over 11 hours of preschool education; the number of hours that research has shown most benefits their education.
Our free meals project ensures that every child receives a hot, nutritious meal when they attend nursery, enabling them to engage in exciting activities and learning experiences on offer to them.
We encourage local people to train and work at First Steps because we know that they have an intimate understanding of the reality of bringing up children in the area.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
- 70 children have had free meals what attending First Steps Community Nurseries
- 63% of three and four-year-old children attended more than 11 hours of childcare each week all year around
- Over 50% of staff live locally
4) Describe how your income and/or any profits generated from previous years has been maximised in delivering social outputs and adding social value
First Steps' social value is directly associated with the inclusive approach to planning the structure of our community nurseries. Session structures are aligned to fit with parents lives adding social value. Any surplus is used for staff training and development so nursery practitioners are well placed to meet the needs of children and their families.
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 and what measures of benefit can you report?
241 children have attended a First Steps Community Nursery or BOP Early Years Specialist Service over the past year 2020 to 2021. 114 of these children had an additional plan to support their development.
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?
Kim was referred by her Health Visitor to BOP, the Early Years Specialist centre in September 2019 when she was three years old. Kim had never been away from her mum and was showing delays in all areas of her learning and development. She found settling into the nursery very difficult, hated noise and could not socialise with other children. Her mum struggled with mental illness and found leaving the house very challenging. As a result Kim often missed her sessions at BOP and important health appointments. Her parents were not living together, their relationship was tense and they disagreed on their approach to parenting.
BOP staff developed a trusting relationship with Mum and rebuilt connections with Kim’s Health Visitor, they drew in a Family Support Worker and together through a ‘team around the child’ process (network of practitioners working together), they supported Mum to access talking therapies. They worked with Dad too and involved him more in Kim’s care.
Gradually through many ‘team around the child’ meetings, the relationship between Kim’s parents moved to a point that they could work together to support her. Dad attended parenting sessions, Step by Step working with early years practitioners and BOP family support staff to provide activities and experiences suitable for Kim’s development. Her attendance at nursery improved, targets set for her development and visits to health appointments were held resulting in a plan for Kim’s education, health and care to be put into place and ultimately a place at Threeways Specialist School.
Over the months, Kim has made some real progress with her development and there have been some wonderful learning moments. Mum’s trust in the staff team at BOP has increased and she has been able to accept some challenging comments and make changes in her life to better accommodate her daughter’s needs.
The story is not over, and much support continues to be provided to Mum, but things are certainly on the right track for Kim to make a sound transition to her specialist place in school, to learn and develop.