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Wraparound childcare is a unique and effective way for children to receive the help they need (and deserve) at a school, daycare centre or after school club. It is different from traditional methods of providing children who need extra help and support as it takes a holistic approach to care.
If you are in the childcare services industry looking to bring a wraparound approach to childcare into your business model or a parent wondering what wraparound care is, this post will be your ultimate guide!
What is Wraparound Childcare?
Wraparound care is a progressive form of childcare that focuses on the child’s needs above all else. It focuses on individualised care for a child rather than providing generic or outdated advice for a group of young people.
Wraparound care focuses on the child’s needs and allows families to have a much bigger say in what they need from childcare providers. This way, the family and child have more input in what services they need and what helps the individual young person. Therefore, everyone works as a unit rather than superiors (who seldom even have time to actually interact with the little ones), dictating what is best for the child.
It is a relatively new term in the world of childcare but the concept of wraparound childcare has been used for many years. In fact, wraparound care has been around since the 80s!
Best Practices for Wraparound Care
As a provider of wraparound care, it’s essential that the child, the child’s family, staff in the childcare positions, the child’s teachers and perhaps a social worker work together as a team.
Good Wraparound Services Include:
- A plan that encompasses a mix of professional advice, natural and community support. The program can incorporate formal services and science-backed interventions alongside interpersonal support.
- Involvement with the child’s family. The family are at the epicentre of the care plan. Therefore, exemplary wraparound services will involve the family at every step of the way and keep them informed about the child’s progress or any new developments in the care plan.
- Support for the family and other people who interact with the child, so everyone is on the same page during the child’s development.
- A creative approach to care. Wraparound care requires a holistic approach to childcare. Therefore, cookie-cutter plans are not suitable for every child (although cookies are certainly permitted themselves).
- Tools to build the child’s skills to help them beyond when they leave your care.
- A sustainability strategy to keep staff and sustain the business long term to avoid disruptions to the child’s care plan.
- Community access to support, resources and services.
- Accountability to ensure a plan is actually followed. A plan is only as good as the action that is taken to follow it.
- Appropriate staff training to support all staff and children involved. Team preparation and support is vital to successfully implementing and maintaining an effective wraparound scheme. And the right professional training may be legally required for wraparound practises to operate.
- A transition period may need to be considered. During this time, the team will ensure the child receives enough support while helping them feel integrated into a new community introduced to new support staff. The wraparound plan should also become less rigid to accommodate the child’s changing needs.
Voluntary Childcare Settings
A study in 2019 showed that over one-third of childcare and early years service providers in England were run on a voluntary basis. However, demand for voluntary childcare in the early years surpasses this. Therefore, voluntary childcare settings are more essential than ever, especially as parents return to work in the office following the pandemic.
- An example of voluntary childcare setting downfalls includes a high turnover rate of volunteers, which can negatively impact the children in care. This is largely due to the fact that many of the volunteers may be parents of the children in care and once their child outgrows pre-school they will invariably be less inclined to volunteer.
- Another reason is that volunteering at early years venues can be highly demanding for someone without formal training in the role. Therefore, many volunteers may leave due to the nature of the work or even to do full-time childhood studies.
The high turnover of volunteers is problematic for children in wraparound care as the concept involves all people involved in the child’s life to be on the same page and deliver the correct type of care.
Therefore, if you are considering where to place your child into care or run an early years childcare service, it is always a good idea to monitor volunteer (and paid staff) turnover.
Is Wraparound Care Effective?
An analysis reviewing multiple studies on whether wraparound is an effective strategy for children in need of extra support found that the effectiveness of wraparound care was largely positive.
However, as wraparound childcare is a somewhat new concept, there is still a lot more research that should be done in order to record the success of this type of care adequately.
Fortunately, another review recently published recent findings suggesting that 68% of the studies they looked at found that wrap-around care has a more positive impact compared to a control. What a win for holistic childcare!
Kids Club HQ can Give You a Helping Hand as a Wraparound Childcare Provider
If you are a wraparound childcare provider, you likely want to work with organisations that share your ethics and values. Our Kids Club HQ values lie parallel with wraparound care. We believe in putting family above all else, maintaining our morals in business while providing outstanding work that actually helps people help children. Join our online platform to discover how you can use our system to help manage your after school and childcare services on a daily basis.
If you hate invoicing, dread organising bookings and feel swallowed in a mountain of paperwork, sign up for demo today to see how we can help you with your admin and leave your time free for outstanding childcare.