NEWS & BLOG
18 July, 2022 - By Charlotte Davies and Kim Bussell
The barriers facing asylum-seeking and migrant families in accessing childcare are increasingly well-documented. Only 15 hours of free childcare is available to kids aged three and four whose parents have ‘no recourse to public funds’, and even this is difficult to access given lack of places, little information about where to find childcare, and parents not knowing their rights.
Lead childcare volunteers Charlotte Davies, Kim Bussell and Sandra Pfeiffer have been plugging the gap in this lack of childcare by running our weekly crèche since we first opened in 2018. Here, Charlotte and Kim explain the vital importance of childcare for our parents and kids.
Our crèche offers support for parents who may live in cramped conditions with few resources. Parents can come to the centre can take advantage of English lessons or other activities, or just have some rare time out from taking care of their kids. We care for children from new-borns to pre-school, and we adapt to cater for older children who may come to the centre for a few weeks while waiting for a school place.
As a team we are experienced childcare volunteers, and child-focussed. We play games and music, sing, read, learn new words in English, and give parenting advice when needed.
It’s almost impossible for parents to fully participate in face-to-face English classes without childcare. We provide flexible childcare allowing parents to concentrate and learn new language skills, safe in the knowledge that their child is being well looked after. Parents are welcome to stay with their child until they have settled in the environment. The crèche is situated near to English classes, so the children have the reassurance of seeing their parents nearby.
The crèche is well-equipped with books, toys and games. We also make good use of West London Welcome’s large garden for outdoor games and a swing.
“As a mother the only time I can go to classes is when I’m at WLW. I don’t want to wait 3 or 4 years until my daughter is at nursery.”
– Mum at WLW
“Childcare is expensive, £12 or £15 an hour – I can’t afford that.”
– Mum at WLW
Socialising is a key part of our childcare. We share lunchtimes with parents after lessons or without if they want to socialise just with each other, and the crèche is important for young children too – it offers them the opportunity to mix with other children and make new friends.
We offer continuity of care, with the same team present every week so the children get to know us and feel welcome, valued and stimulated – and we get to watch them grow up.