CHANGE Project and T.I.C.T.A.C.S. - low cost quality template test of change

In this guest blog, Alison Hay from the CHANGE PROJECT in Glasgow shares with us how TICTACS After School Care (Shettleston) are undertaking a test of change which is looking at developing a low-cost quality food template.

The CHANGE project (Childcare and Nurture, Glasgow East) is a three-year lottery-funded project which is supported by Children in Scotland, Glasgow City Council, Thriving Places, SOSCN (Scottish Out of School Care Network) and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH), which also carries out the project evaluation.

The CHANGE project has been working with families and services in Parkhead, West Shettleston, Tollcross, Calton, Bridgeton and Dalmarnock to find out about the barriers faced when trying to access childcare locally.

The learning from the engagement process has told us that issues faced by families include flexibility, accessibility, affordability and information sharing.

In the second year the CHANGE Hub was established to bring together families and organisations with an interest in childcare to provide opportunities to share ideas, concerns, good practice and innovation, using the Children and Young People's Improvement methodology to evidence impact. Children and Young People Improvement Collaborative

The objective of the Hub is to lead change at a local level. One test of change is to develop a low-cost quality food template to be made available to all childcare services.

T.I.C.T.A.C.S. Afterschool in Shettleston are involved in this test of change. T.I.C.T.A.C.S. practitioners are trained Nutrition Ambassadors with the GRUB4LIFE programme and bring this knowledge and experience to the test. We also received support from services outside the project area in Provanmill and Cranhill who were willing to share their learning and experience.

Evidence has shown that by strengthening the children's understanding of healthy foods a change to the content of the children's lunch boxes occurred. While in some cases almost 100% of healthier foods were being provided by the families, all the children's boxes contained some healthy foods.

The children documented their progress within floorbooks. At the children's request the CHANGE project worked alongside them to set up a system for them to record their own data on run charts and they are accomplished in using the system and share the task to complete and update this.

CHANGE recognises this positive improvement however it is important to ensure this does not having cost implications for families. The CHANGE project has investigated local support for all families including those experiencing food poverty. Childcare services will also be provided with information about local community assets who can offer advice, resources and support.

During the community engagement phase of the project families highlighted that “hidden costs” such as snacks and lunch can put added pressure on their financial situation. For children who receive food provided by the service, it is intended any reduction to service food costs achieved using the template will be beneficial to families.

This test of change will be scaled up to include more services within the project area in February.

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last updated: 05/02/2019