Parents collaborate with skilled staff to provide high-quality affordable care at this well-established nursery.
Scallywags is a not-for-profit parent-partnership nursery in Bethnal Green. Established in 1991, the nursery believes that children’s needs are best met through a partnership between parents and childcare professionals.
Scallywags believes that parents are children’s first educators, and that their involvement in the nursery means that children’s learning at home and learning at nursery can reinforce each other.
Parents join a weekly rota to help at the nursery for one day a week alongside qualified staff. They undergo an induction and DBS check, and also attend parent meetings and termly maintenance days. Parents who are unable to commit to working at the nursery pay more for their service. With 40 parents volunteering at the nursery, this builds a sense of community.
“We are completely different from private nurseries – we’re a non-profit service to parents,” says Kate Gould, chair of Scallywags nursery.
New rules needed
Policies that can help unleash the potential of this or similar initiatives across the UK.
Create new sources of finance for co-ops
Create financial instruments and institutions tailored to the needs of the co-operative economy.
Launch a Co-operative Development Agency
A network of support and capacity building to develop and extend the capabilities of the co-operative movement.
Create affordable workspaces
Affordable workspaces are essential to the survival of independent businesses.
Introduce a Co-operative Economy Act
A legal framework tailored to the needs of co-operatives and supportive of their future development.
Roll out universal basic services
Quality public services allow us all to live better lives, and should be expanded beyond health and education.
Reform and directly fund childcare
Measures will boost funding and create providers that put families before profits.