Bristol Association for Neighbourhood Daycare (BAND) – taking good care through the pandemic
Formed in 1978, Bristol Association for Neighbourhood Daycare (BAND) promotes the provision of good quality, accessible and sustainable childcare and play via 200 clubs, serving over 10,000 families in Bristol.
BAND offers free training courses to childcare staff, managers and management committees on a range of subjects from financial management to policymaking, as well as loaning out toys, books and equipment from its a free resource library. It also supports and develops professionals, volunteers and clubs with advice and guidance on a range of services, including insurance, mediation, crisis support and networking.
High-quality care improves the life chances of all children, particularly those from disadvantaged homes with fewer opportunities. The wide-reaching benefits include boosting children’s learning and giving them the chance to mix with others from a variety of backgrounds. Without access to high-quality care, the alternative for many of these children could be spending time on the streets or at home alone, which can present numerous potential risks to their safety and wellbeing.
The Covid pandemic has impacted childcare clubs through the loss of funding and a decrease in membership numbers. BAND’s staff were required to work from home and their training programme moved online. In January 2021, the charity reached out to SMV with an application for £1,498 to purchase laptops, which would facilitate every aspect of BAND’s services, from managing the online training to meeting with childcare clubs remotely.
This new equipment helped BAND to successfully continue to support frontline and out-of-school care providers during the pandemic, allowing groups to keep running and employers and families to access safe and stimulating childcare in the Bristol area. BAND has been able to deliver over 100 free online training courses for approximately 800 trainees and facilitate the loan of learning and activity resources from its library. The laptops have also allowed BAND to engage with care providers remotely, hosting its popular childcare briefing sessions online, as well as offering crucial advice and support to clubs via video conference meetings.
“By remaining open during the pandemic, we were able to continue supporting both vulnerable and keyworker children during the lockdowns, opening to full capacity again when schools reopened.”
– one of BAND’s childcare groups
BAND continue to support care providers during the pandemic, allowing groups to keep running and employers and families to access childcare in Bristol