Helping Parents to Work: A Study for Kent TEC

A study evaluated three clubs that provide out-of-school childcare in Kent, England: Out-of-School Childcare, Returners Roadshow and Workshops, and a parenting skills course. Questionnaires collected information from 29 club managers and 282 parents of children in the clubs and 78 participants of Returners events. Thirty participants in the parenting skills course completed evaluation forms; 22 responded to a mail survey. Findings indicated one-fifth of respondents' children attended a club 5 days per week; before the clubs opened, the respondent, usually the mother, had been the main source of childcare; and nearly two-thirds of parents reported work and study related reasons for using the club. Overall, parents reported a high level of satisfaction with most aspects of clubs' provision; three-fourths thought their children benefited positively; and the club had a strong labor market impact on respondents, mostly mothers. The clubs provided active play or sporting activities, quiet activities, and arts and crafts. Difficulties in staff recruitment included hours and pay and availability of qualified staff. Parental fees made up the majority of club income. The series of Roadshows and Workshops were attended by people planning to return to work after a gap and those wanting to change their job or career. Participants in the parenting skills courses were very positive about the course and its content. The course increased confidence and reassured people. (Contains 12 references.) (YLB)