Coram evaluated Family and Childcare Trust’s Parent Champions programme aimed at encouraging the use of early years services and particularly the take-up of available childcare. The programme involved volunteers acting as Parent Champions talking to parents in the community signposting them to services.
The evaluation examined the performance of a children’s centre-based model delivered in partnership with Action for Children.
The report details how Parent Champions were effective in communicating to parents and encouraging the take-up of local children’s services. A high proportion of contact with parents made by Parent Champions led to some action being taken by the parent. For example, in just over half of cases the referral given by the Parent Champion was used by the parent. For slightly under half, the service recommended became regularly used by the parent. And, also for slightly under half, the parent reported an additional impact as a result of the Parent Champion meeting, e.g. an awareness of local services.
Parents showed a high willingness to take action after contact with a Parent Champion:
- In 57% of cases the referral given by the Parent Champion was used by parents with 43% of referrals leading to regular use of the service or activity recommended.
- 44% of contacts with parents led to a general impact on the parent e.g. parenting confidence.