Jacqueline Winstanley BSC hons Universal Inclusion UK C4GEI Board Member

Jacqueline Winstanley BSC hons
Universal Inclusion UK
C4GEI Board Member

The recent findings of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Childcare for Disabled Children in the UK highlights the need for cross departmental action plans and funding programmes to ensure disabled children have access to affordable, accessible and appropriate childcare.

I was saddened and frustrated when I read this report, having observed what I thought was a backwards step in this area over the last 4 and a half years, the report only served to confirm my observations. It is a stark reminder of the casualties of austerity cuts in the Uk and a further example of the ways governments are failing disabled people within the process.

My frustration comes, in part, from the knowledge and auditable evidence trail of how easily this could have been – and can still be – avoided.

2001 saw the emergence of good practice “The Inclusive Playcare Model”. This work originated from the development of an Inclusive Play and Childcare Scheme I set up in Bolton under the Childcare Strategy.

The research and evidence base which this provided went onto produce a scoping report on how this could be rolled out into childcare settings across the Borough.

The resultant Pilot projects and evidenced increase in representation from less than 1% to 6% and alongside ratings of outstanding practice within Ofsted inspections led to a cascading programme, not only in Bolton, but across the UK.

The evidenced increase in good practice, which enabled families of disabled children and young people to access play and childcare services alongside their non disabled peers at times which suited them, was recognised nationally and informed a number of National Policy changes and Guidelines for Good Practice.

Importantly, in terms of inclusive economic growth and the reduction of chronic poverty, families were able, in most cases, for the first buy windows 10 product key time, to consider stepping out of the ‘Benefit Cycle’ into study or employment, confident in the knowledge that their children and young people were in safe hands.

This work, which I subsequently adapted to increase equality of Access to Culture in its broadest sense, continues to provide sustainable Inclusive Play and Childcare opportunities throughout the UK and is being relaunched in February 2015 at a national conference in Media City for International Policy Makers.

For further information email universal_inclusion@icloud.com