Early Years Practitioners Consultation

Why are we doing this?: 

It has been a challenging period to work in maternity and early years services during recent times. The Coronavirus pandemic has brought the value of support services and provision into sharp focus. Many parents will have experienced feelings of isolation followed by relief as services and provision opened up again. Equally, practitioners have needed to balance their own family needs whilst working in extraordinary circumstances. Parents and practitioners are to be congratulated for making their way through this difficult period.

Wrexham County Borough Council has asked Children in Wales to carry out a consultation with both parents and practitioners to look closely at the provision of maternity and early years services offered in the county.  Focusing on quality, sufficiency of provision; integration across services, transition between provision and involvement of parents/carers.

This is your chance for your voice to be heard and to provide input to enhance services in your area.

What do we want to know?: 

We want to give you, as practitioners, an opportunity to share your views, and for you to voice your opinion on the services and provision in your area. This survey has been created to gather your thoughts and opinions to feed back to Wrexham County Borough Council, so as to identify any gaps in provision or improvements that could be made.

What we found out: 

Quality of Provision

A number of practitioners commented on positive collaboration and joint working approaches.

Early help was highlighted as working well, there was recognition of the positive work taking place.

Flying start was referenced numerous times as an example of best practice. However, practitioners expressed there is a growing level of need outside existing pre-defined areas.

 

Integration across services, access to provision

Multi-agency training across different services was identified as a positive experience that should be more readily available.

Responses expressed barriers to joint working including a lack of interaction between services, a lack of budget and staff availability.

The Family Information Service was noted as a useful resource and for providing an effective support for joint working, linking services together and raising awareness of service provision.

Effective joint working amongst midwives and health visitors with joint pre-birth visits was recognised as useful for sharing information and supporting families.

 

Information, advice and access to provision

Practitioners felt that it was often dependant where parents lived and referenced different levels of services are provided in Flying Start and non-Flying Start areas.

The ability to offer services both face-to-face and online has allowed more parents to access support for general parenting programmes and more specialist referrals.

Barriers and challenges to accessing services were identified such as eligibility, criteria of services and funding, waiting lists, referrals not being accepted, language and cultural barrier, transport and parents own mental health needs.

 

Transition between provisions

Midwife – health visitor transitions were expressed as positive where there was co-location between these services.

Health visitor - school nurse transitions were expressed as a stage that can present challenges with higher caseloads for school nurses often meaning they cannot offer the same level of support that health visitors provide.

Practitioners reported the quality of childcare to school transitions were dependant on the leadership, willingness and understanding of specific head teachers of how childcare settings can support transitions.

It was suggested that a consistent policy/guidance on how transitions are managed across Wrexham provisions could be developed, to highlight and support good practice.

 

Involvement of parents in planning, designing and reviewing provision

Practitioners highlighted involving parents within services could create improved engagement with service users, creating better services that meet appropriate needs and having a better understanding of families.

Practitioners identified that spaces to share and training, funding and direct engagement are elements that need to be considered when providing opportunities to involve parents.

What difference has it made?: 

This consultation will: 

  • Support future planning and delivery of services in Wrexham.
  • Inform the development of consistency of access to services and support for all families living in Wrexham
  • Inform the planning of engagement opportunities for parents to be involved in service development
  • Review and inform opportunities for organisations to effectively work together, to enable them to offer help at the earliest opportunities.
  • Improve information sharing and joint working to enable practitioners to have access to up to date information and advice to meet families’ needs and be better able to signpost to other service

 

Consultation start date 10 May 2022
Consultation end date 12 June 2022

Contact

Full addressContactContact numbers
Guildhall
Wrexham
LL11 1AR
Katie Hughes