What is our Social Impact 2023?
Employers For Childcare is proud to be a social enterprise, but what does this mean and how does it benefit the people we work with by creating ‘social value’. In our case, our social enterprise businesses (Childcare Vouchers, nursery recruitment and High Rise) invest 100% of their profits in funding the work of our charity, including the Family Benefits Advice Service and our research and lobbying work. With the cost of living crisis continuing to impact families and childcare providers, the services of our charity continue to be much-needed, advising parents on how to access the financial support they are entitled to, and be better off. We have continued our essential work providing advice and guidance to parents, childcare providers and employers, and advocating on their behalf.
Through our telephone helpline and outreach services last year (2022/23) we completed more than 4,400 personal benefits checks, delivered 224 face to face and online outreach sessions and directly helped more than 11,000 people. Parents who received a personal benefits check identified an average of over £5,600 in financial support across the year and collectively saved more than £12 million. Since 2008, our charity has identified over £100 million in financial support for families that they didn’t know they were entitled to. This is money that has been put back into parents’ pockets, helping them to get into and stay in work and driving the economy – positive social change in action!
To read more about our social impact, download our Social Impact Report 2022-23 here.
How have we generated this Social Value?
The work of our charity is only possible thanks to those employers who have chosen to ‘buy social’ and use our Childcare Vouchers (the only Social Enterprise Childcare Voucher scheme in the UK) to support their staff in paying for the childcare they need, and in completing AccessNI checks and providing recruitment packages.
In addition to helping us invest in the work of our charity, parents and employers are both saving money through our Childcare Voucher scheme – a total of £4.9 million in 2022/23.
This year, we also must thank the thousands of guests who have visited our newly reopened family adventure centre in Lisburn, High Rise since it reopened in July 2022. With 100% of the profits from High Rise invested in our charity, every single visit helps us to continue our vital work, supporting parents to get into and stay in work and be better off. Feedback from those who have visited has been phenomenal, particularly around our brilliant staff team, and the warm welcome they provide to all guests, whatever their needs or abilities.
How much have we invested & what is the return?
Since 2008 we have reinvested £7.4 million into providing services for families, through our charity. We provide a free, impartial and confidential Family Benefits Advice Service, we carry out research addressing childcare and work-related issues and we lobby government to improve support for families.
Through our social enterprise activities and charity, our impact in 2022/23 has included:
- Identifying £12 million in additional financial support for families – meaning for every £1 we invested in our charity, we identified a direct saving for parents of £14
- Over 8,000 parents using our Childcare Vouchers, collectively saving those parents £3.7 million in childcare costs
- Over 1,000 employers offering our Childcare Voucher scheme to their staff, collectively saving those employers £1.2 million in National Insurance Contributions
- Supporting almost 200 childcare providers with AccessNI and recruitment services
- Lobbying for support for parents and the childcare sector as costs in the face of rising costs for families and childcare providers
- Advising MLAs and policy-makers on childcare issues, including work to inform the development of a much-needed and long-overdue new Childcare Strategy for Northern Ireland.