Supported by the Office of the Children's Commissioner (OCC), the project aimed to increase understanding of the needs, views and experiences of young children and parents in low-income families in relation to the services they can and do use.
We worked with children and families in three local authorities, and employed the well-known Mosaic approach for listening to young children.
Our final report was published in February 2015. Key findings included:
- Most parents were able to access important services at no additional cost to them. However, low-income was felt to limit opportunities for some, for example around access to quality housing, outdoor space, transport, healthy foods and play and leisure activities.
- Families were less aware of services and felt less comfortable in using them because of a lack of support and information.
- It took too long for parents to receive extra support from services when they needed it (especially with regards to housing, parental well-being, mental health and family support).
- Housing was the area identified to be in need of the most development to meet the needs of families with young children. Many families were having to live in accommodation that was poor quality, insufficiently heated, too small for the family, and in need of repair – placing stress and pressure on parents and family life.