What is the childcare brokerage service?
Professionals who work with families can refer parents to the Suffolk Family Information Service for childcare brokerage if they are having difficulty finding suitable childcare.
Childcare brokerage is a requirement of Childcare Act 2006, which means local authorities must provide extra support for families to help them access childcare and other support services.
Families can experience difficulties finding childcare and accessing other support services for a number of reasons. The following examples are typical situations where professionals may decide to refer a family for childcare brokerage:
- child(ren) known to social care
- lone parent
- parent of a child with additional needs
- parent with additional needs
- young parent
- parent who speaks English as an additional language
- unemployed parent
- family on a low income
- new arrival, refugee or asylum seeker
- parent with a disability
- parents with a drug or alcohol dependency
- parent with a mental health issue
- parent with a serious health condition
- Gypsy, Roma travellers and travellers of Irish Heritage
The type of help offered depends on individual circumstances, but childcare brokerage can help parents and carers to:
- Find suitable childcare options which meet their needs and the needs of their children.
- Visit childcare providers together accompanied by one of our staff.
- Find emergency childcare or alternative childcare at short notice.
- Access childcare and other services if they or their child has a disability or special needs.
- Access any financial support they are entitled to which helps pay for childcare.
- Understand the information available to them, for example if a parent has a visual impairment, language or literacy difficulties.
How can families be referred to childcare brokerage service?
Professionals can make a referral on behalf of a family by requesting a secure email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parents can call the Suffolk Family Information Service helpline to discuss if they should be self-referred to childcare brokerage.