ingenious group 4children childcare awards

CASE STUDY  4 Children  

Campaign:  A fresh Approach to out of School Childcare


To identify, develop and broker a range of new partnerships that would promote a new approach and recognised benefits of extended Schools in the UK. In particular, design a host of working partnerships with partners including central Government, corporate and private and voluntary sectors with the sole aim of meeting cross working partnership areas as identified within the charities business plan objectives. 


Our approach to promoting the benefits of extended schools was to identify a range of stakeholder partnerships. Through a concerted partnership approach, we aimed to learn beyond the classroom, devising a range of innovative projects and partnerships that could provide new channels of communication with parents and children.  Recognising and developing the wider interests of all children and family life which could be addressed. 


The approach was based on evidence that extended schools provide a unique platform that affects attitudes towards education that prevail much longer and to a much deeper level within families and their wider communities. These factors go beyond the classroom and education performance levels and significantly impact children and young people’s potential.   There was also implicit recognition through our research and consultation that parents ability to work, their diet, health, self-confidence, emotional well-being and being empowered are amongst the factors that play a crucial role in development and attainment in communities. The campaign, which collectively promoted partnerships through Extended schools, made it possible for the first time to coordinate a holistic approach.

This was supported by the Government Children’s Bill, which provided radical reform of services for children and set out a framework for integrated practice that put the child’s needs at its centre.  Extended schools place a premium on seeking innovative ways of ensuring that all stakeholders interested in children work together.

Key areas of partnership developed by Ingenious Group

Support for parents returning to work

Developing joint partnerships provides access to training, confidence building, CV writing, childcare support vouchers, etc., designed to fit around the working day and school term-time. This enabled parents to return to work, increase their working hours, or take up training to better their families lives and, in some cases, escape poverty.

Partners identified and secured Marks and Spencer who provided support through their staff and stores.

Accor and Sodexho Pass introduced a UK voucher scheme for major employers. 

Giving children a Voice

Shout Out 4 Children was developed to get children and young people noticed, to get their voice heard for adults to understand what children are saying. The Buzz survey was carried out with children through their families and friends via a range of communications, including mobile phone, email or conversations at mealtimes. 

Partners identified and secured included HMV who provided prizes, Vodafone with Mobile access and News International as Media Partners.


Increasing Appeal and standards of Childcare

Children’s Clubs have a positive role in community regeneration creating new jobs, training and volunteering opportunities. Communities gain economically with more people able to work, and children have increased expectations and aspirations to maintain and grow pride in communities.  

The quality of childcare has and always will remain a top priority for every parent in the UK. From high-quality activities and support for children to highly motivated and professional staff, parents consistently place the quality of their childcare as their number one concern.  To fully recognise the importance of quality in childcare, The Excellence in Childcare Awards were designed as the ‘BAFTA’s’ of childcare.

The Awards recognise and reward the commitment and professionalism of those who work with children. They are the culmination of a six-month UK wide search to find the very best childcarers in the country.  The Excellence in Childcare Awards today are seen as the leading and high profile celebration of all that is good in childcare. 

Celebrities recruited to support the awards included Cherie Booth, Gaby Roslin, Jono Coleman, Linda Robson, Anthea Turner, Tracey Young and Mark Butcher.


Other partners recruited     

The Awards were promoted in 10,000 out of school clubs through 8,000 Nurseries gained Media coverage with our support from media partners Prima, Prima Baby and Nursery World, who recruited nominations and publicised the winners a total readership 1.25 million readers. 50,000 Childminders and 45,000 Childcare practitioners also took part. Other Partners secured included the New Opportunities Fund.

Partnerships brokered by Ingenious included :

  • Virgin Unite – a 3 year Volunteer and sponsorship programme
  • The Rebook MultiSports Challenge promoting healthy hearts and minds in partnership with Rebook, the British Heart Foundation & IFTA
  • Breaking Barriers a groundbreaking sports programme with HSBC 
  • Healthy Eating survey & clubs Sponsored by Sainsbury’s
  • A  new kids Club Magazine in partnership with the BBC
  • Slam Dunk sponsored by JWT


Client Endorsement 

In a short time frame and with the minimum of internal support, the people at Ingenious have created many exciting relationships, all of which have delivered great value for money.” 

Rebecca Edwards, 4Children ( Kids Clubs Networks)