Bettws ELC Ehangu (Expand) Project Overview

Bettws ELC and Save The Children are looking to launch a collaborative project in a place outside of Bettws to share the systems learning they have gained and work to develop a resource that can share the model more widely.


1 Context

The Bettws Early Learning Community (BELC) launched in September 2019 with the aim of improving early learning outcomes for children in Bettws, Newport. Since then, BELC partners have been working across organisational boundaries and taking a ‘whole system’ approach to improving the early learning outcomes of children growing up in poverty.

In practice, this means that BELC has a shared strategy for change and works across the Early Years system to identify needs, deliver interventions, and test new approaches/ways of working. Local organisations come together to make sure that children are getting the support they need to thrive, learn and grow up in a place they can be proud of.

Our partnership includes everyone involved in bringing up children today. This includes families, communities, the local council, Flying Start, housing associations, schools and teachers, health visitors and GPs, and local voluntary and community groups. We have worked together to understand the needs of local families and tested different ways to support children transition between educational settings, increase opportunities to play, and to improve emotional wellbeing and resilience. We work together to provide direct support to families and improve how the system works.

Please have a look at our website for more examples of the kinds of interventions and new approaches/ways of working which we have been testing in the Bettws Early Learning Community

We have a commitment to sharing our learning as widely as possible to increase the impact we can make.

2. Project outline

We would like to work collaboratively with another place as they develop a small systems change pilot project.

We can offer a grant of £45,000 to work with Save the Children between January 2023 and December 2024 to do this.

Save The Children is often asked to share how we are working and what we are learning to help others to develop place-based Early Years systems change projects. There is no one-size-fits-all roadmap, but we do know there are some key elements to developing a systems change project and we would like to test these in action supporting another partnership.

This pilot seeks to:

  • Provide seed funding for a small place-based systems change pilot project
  • Inform Save the Children’s development of a ‘starter kit’ of resources which other places could use to develop their own partnerships and systems change programmes.
  • Test ways for Save The Children to share our experience and expertise to help other place-based Early Years partnerships develop
  • Demonstrate the value of place-based systems-change work (increase opportunities to share learning and influence decision-makers)

There is £45,000 available. £5,000 will be to cover your time to participate in a series of workshops and work outside these to develop your pilot (between January-August 2023). A further £40,000 is available for the delivery of the pilot activity/interventions between September 2023 and December 2024.  The lead partner will receive the money but can choose to share this £40,000 with other partners involved in delivery if they wish.

This is a collaborative project, testing and learning as we go. This project should be set up in a way that means it is informed and continuously shaped by insights from local families, with child and family voice being put at the heart of project design.

There are two phases:

This project must be delivered between January 2023 and December 2024. Below is an indicative timeline and list of key roles it is expected will be necessary for the project – both will be developed further in discussion with the Lead Partner.

3. Commissioning process

We will be inviting organisations and services to submit proposals to take part in this project. Project proposals are required to be submitted by 14th December 2022. Proposals will be reviewed by the Save the Children Wales team, who will select the preferred delivery partners. Successful partners will be notified no later than 22nd December 2022. This request for proposals does not constitute an offer, and Save the Children and the Bettws ELC do not bind themselves to accept any proposal. Save the Children reserves the right to accept a proposal in part, rather than in full (this would be discussed with the proposing organisation before a decision is made). The Intellectual Property for workshop plans and resources is owned solely by Save The Children UK.

4. Roles and responsibilities

The delivery partner will be responsible for the following:

  • Attending workshops to shape their pilot between January and July 2023.
  • Bringing together the necessary stakeholders to the relevant workshops. At a minimum, each workshop should be attended by:
  • Project lead – member of the organisation’s senior team (decision-maker)
  • At least one person with a delivery role in early years/family support
  • Members of the wider partnership as necessary (to be identified in session 1)
  • Data and learning lead from lead partner organisation (in workshops 5 & 6)
  • Overall project delivery (including staffing, implementing activities, engaging families etc).
  • Liaising regularly with the STC team and other relevant local stakeholders to share progress and learning
  • Working with the STC Team to conduct monitoring and evaluation activities
  • Management of funding provided within the agreed timeframe
  • Delivering the project in a way that reflects Save the Children’s commitment to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

Save The Children will provide:  

  • Project funding via Save the Children UK
  • A grant agreement contract (on Save the Children UK’s terms) and any legal advice on this as required
  • Support to design the pilot project in phase 1
  • Ongoing support and guidance in phase 2 (format and frequency to be agreed in phase 1)
  • Access to findings from relevant research with families, children and practitioners
  • Support with evaluation design and implementation

5. Monitoring and evaluation

We want to learn what works and what could be improved. We want to understand what impact this work is having on children now and what difference it will make for them in their futures. We will work with you to agree how to evaluate the project. We want to understand the impact of your delivery in phase 2. This will typically involve the following, collected using a variety of methods proportionate to the size of the project:

We will also seek feedback and learning on working in this way – how the workshops, tools and ongoing support have helped you to develop and deliver change, and ideas to develop these further. As noted above, you will be supported by STC project team to design and implement a robust and ethically approved plan for project monitoring and evaluation, including clear timelines and templates for reporting.

6. Equality, diversity, and inclusion

Save the Children UK sees diversity as a strength that we need to embrace. We have a duty to listen to and involve children and families in our work to ensure that our approaches to change are relevant and driven by lived experience and local need. No one should be left behind. We are keen to partner with those who share this commitment and would like to see proposals that are accessible to, and inclusive of, children and families from all backgrounds, and that advance equalities for marginalised and minority groups. You can read more about Save the Children’s approach to diversity and inclusion here.

7. Sustainability and legacy

This project should be set up in a way that considers longer-term sustainability, with a clear vision for how the project will inform and contribute to the future plans of the delivery partner and the wider early years community.  Learnings from the project should be gathered and shared in a way that supports the community to respond to existing gaps in services and, where possible, influences local decision-making.

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