What is Employers For Childcare’s Social Impact?
Our aim - supporting parents
Employers For Childcare has been working for parents since 1998. We are now launching our first Social Impact Report which is intended to shine a light not only on what we do as an organisation but, more importantly, on the impact that our work has on parents, on children, on the economy and on society as a whole.
As an organisation our aim is to support parents to access and stay in work. As a charity we provide advice and information to parents to help them make decisions about work, childcare and balancing family life and work responsibilities. At the core of this is our Family Benefits Advice Service which was set up in 2010 to address the lack of specialised information available to local parents. This service, which is free, impartial and confidential, has gone from strength to strength and proved itself to be a necessary resource for families across Northern Ireland.
So what have we done?
In the last year our Family Benefits Advice Service helped more than 6,600 parents, providing personalised calculations and advice based on their unique circumstances. 98% of the parents we helped said that speaking to one of our Family Benefits Advisors helped them make better informed decisions relevant to their own circumstances.
This work will be even more important in the coming months as changes in the landscape of childcare financial support lead to more confusion for working parents. For example, in 2017 we will see changes to family benefits and entitlements including the introduction of tax-free childcare, changes to tax credits and the roll out of universal credit.
Campaigning for suitable, accessible, flexible and affordable childcare
We also lobby and campaign, using our work with parents to inform our ‘asks’ for political representatives and policy makers. One of the key areas which we have proactively sought to address is the lack of suitable and affordable childcare in Northern Ireland. Through our advice service we help parents access the financial support available to them and, at a policy level, we have been at the forefront in providing up-to-date statistics on the cost of childcare and lobbying local politicians and policymakers to enact change.
Our latest Childcare Cost Survey showed that the cost of childcare continues to present a significant challenge for local families. 63% told us that they struggled with their childcare bill and, worryingly, 25% turned to means such as payday loans or credit cards in order to meet their costs. We are the only organisation collecting information on childcare costs and the impact they have on local families. We will continue to use this information to lobby for change and the implementation of an effective Childcare Strategy.
Social Business is Good Business!
None of this work would be possible without investment from our three Social Enterprises: Employers For Childcare Vouchers, Employers For Childcare Solutions and Employers For Childcare Training, each of which fulfils a social aim in its own right, while raising the funds needed to enable us to continue our charitable activities.
Since 2008 we have invested £4.3million in providing services for local families. This is work which we hope to expand and develop in the coming months and years.
Are you accessing all of the support that you are entitled to?
Why not make one call to ensure that you are accessing all of the support that you are entitled to.
Our Family Benefits Advice Team are specially trained to provide advice, information and personalised benefits checks for parents, including ‘better off’ calculations to ensure that every parent is claiming the financial help they are entitled to.
Get in touch or call free on 0800 028 3008. Alternatively you can visit the factsheet section of our website for detailed information.