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Oak Hill ASD Childcare

by Oak Hill ASD Childcare in Newport, Newport, United Kingdom

We did it
On 7th December 2021 we successfully raised £529 with 14 supporters in 39 days

Funds for staff support workers & equipment to ensure we can provide 1:1 support for additional children to attend Oak Hill ASD Childcare

by Oak Hill ASD Childcare in Newport, Newport, United Kingdom

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Welcome, and thank you for your interest in Oak Hill ASD Childcare.  

Our mission is to offer play-based childcare provision for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and complex needs.   The children who use our club require 1:1 support - something that is unaffordable and unachievable for most families caring for a disabled child.

We are a charity so we rely on donations and funding to pay for our 1:1 support workers and for the specialist training they need in order to give our children the best possible experience while they are at our club.

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"Absolutely phenomenal. Incredible attentive caring staff providing such a welcoming environment with their own experiences of autism through a range of means. My son was happy for the first half term in 5 years and looked forward to going on the days we were booked. I would book again in a heartbeat. It's incredible seeing something like this set up especially during the pandemic.  Thank you Oak Hill your all truly wonderful." 

Parent feedback

How we use your donations

1:1 Support Workers

  • £10 - provides 1 hour of 1:1 support for a child with ASD and complex needs
  • £50 - provides 1:1 support for a half-day session at the club 
  • £100 - provides 1:1 support for a full-day session at the club
  • £300 - provides 1:1 support for three full-day sessions at the club
  • £1,800 - provides 1:1 support for three full-day sessions at the club for six children
  • £3,000 - provides 1:1 support for three full-day sessions at the club for ten children
  • £12,000  - provides 1:1 support for three full-day sessions at the club for ten children - covering the four weeks we are open over the summer holidays
  • £27,000  - provides 1:1 support for three full-day sessions at the club for ten children - covering the nine weeks we are open through all the school holidays each year

Core club costs

  • £6,000 per year for our Play Club Manager (core staff)

  • £4,658 per year for Play Club Deputy (core staff).

  • £3,500 per year in other running costs (rent, equipment, training, DBS checks, and sundries).

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"Really great childcare facility for children with ASD in Newport. The staff were very well prepared and made my son and me feel very welcome. They made a real effort to get to know him and his specific and individual needs. I felt he was very well supported and he really enjoyed going every day. Variety of different children there so he got to make new friendships and experience different things. A childcare facility like this is so important for our son, as there is nothing like it anywhere in Newport and our children with ASD need the routine and structure throughout the holidays." Parent feedback

How is Oak Hill ASD Childcare different to any other childcare?

Oak Hill ASD Childcare has been designed for children who require a much greater level of adult assistance, engagement and supervision than a “mainstream” childcare facility.  A  “mainstream” childcare facility can have an adult to child ratio of 1 adult to 8 children, but many of the children who will use Oak Hill will require a much higher level, sometimes even more than 1 adult to 1 child.  

In order to ensure the provision is affordable, the organisation has been set up as a charity. As a not for profit organisation the aim is to ensure additional staff can be employed to support on a 1:1 basis without this cost impacting upon the parent/carers fees.  

The level of training required to support the children who access Oak Hill ASD Childcare is also much greater, and therefore more costly than is needed for a “mainstream” provision.  Not only do we need qualified play-workers, with safeguarding training, appropriate First Aid and Food hygiene which is all mandatory within this sector, staff also need to understand autism and various strategies and techniques that are needed to help the children enjoy their time at Oak Hill.

Parents who use Oak Hill ASD Childcare will pay commensurable fees to parents who use a “mainstream” facility; the charity will make up the shortfall.

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"Oakhill is a brilliant help to myself and [child] as it helps to keep routine as much as possible" Parent Feedback  

How do you meet the needs of each individual child?

Child profiles are obtained before the child's first day at the club.  Using the profile we select (and purchase) equipment, activities and resources that allow us to individually plan experiences for each child. We review each child's communication needs and (when it is part of their communication strategy) use PECS photo resources to communicate within the session so that we can then understand what the child likes and dislikes. 

Feedback from parents regarding the behaviour outcomes after the session demonstrated that there was a positive impact at home. Home and to club communication links helps us all to get feedback on what the child is doing at home and give us an understanding of triggers for each child.  We are currently in the process of developing a specialised questionnaire that is to be used directly with the children (e.g. using smiley faces) to ensure we hear "the child's voice" on what they enjoy the most about the club.

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"You guys are amazing and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for setting this up its a huge lifeline."

Parent feedback

How does Oak Hill support the children at the club?

The children will be provided with stimulating play provision in an environment with a choice of full or half-day stays. The club will provide opportunities for the child to engage in activities and stimulating resources that will support their wellbeing.

The provision will run to enable the children who have ASD and complex needs to have the same access to play provision within the Newport area that is available to all other children. The club will provide workshops, encouraging the children to experience music, sensory, craft and outdoor provision. The children that access the provision will require a higher level of supervision, each child will be allocated an individual support worker that tailors the experiences to the likes and needs of the child. 

The benefit to the child will be closer engagement within stimulating activities and experiences. The support worker will be fully trained to recognise each child's behaviour triggers and how to avoid and manage them. This will help prevent escalation of behaviour creating an enjoyable and stress-free experience for that child and other children.  

By being in the club, the children will have the opportunity to have structured and supported social interactions with other children, something that many children with ASD and complex needs - especially communication needs - rarely have the chance to benefit from.

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"A big thank you to all for the support and new opportunities that were given to our son." Parent Feedback

Why is Oakhill ASD Childcare Needed?

The children our organisation support have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and complex needs.  ASD is a developmental disorder that affects the way a child communicates and behaves. It has associated difficulties such as communication delays, sensory needs, learning difficulties and challenging behaviour. Many of the children who access the club, require one to one support at all times. In Newport play provision for children with these needs is extremely limited.

Typically, children with ASD rely heavily on routine and certainty.  The school holidays disrupt their routine and present a lot of uncertainty about what they might be doing, or where they might be going each day.  This can severely impact the child emotionally resulting in challenging behaviour, impacting not only on them but their siblings also, adding stress to the family as a whole.

Mainstream children, without ASD, have many options available to them during the school holidays - youth clubs, sports clubs and mixing with friends. Children with ASD and complex needs cannot access the same activities, as they need more support and supervision, have limited communication, few play skills, trouble making friends, limited understanding of 'rules (e.g., for sport) and often have difficulty with fine and large motor skills.  The result is that children with ASD have no options in the school holidays, except to stay home on their own – limiting their experiences and enjoyment of the 'holiday' from school.

Challenging behaviour, while the child is out of their usual daily routine, adds stress to the family dynamic.  This in turn adds further stress to the child with ASD. The children accessing the provision are supported through these challenges and offers some continuation of routine. The time the child is at the club, also provides the family with respite, reducing wider family stress.

The club is based in the school the majority of the children attend (Ysgol Bryn Derw), giving them access to a consistent and familiar environment.  The children have access to a quality play environment where they are supported to have fun and interact.  This helps them individually with their play, social, emotional, sensory development, and motor skills. Without the club, the children would remain at home with extremely limited stimulation (often screen-based).  Instead, at our first pilot, they were engaging in social experiences on swings and other outdoor play, as well as focused play experiences such as drawing in sand and other sensory play.  This made a significant improvement in the quality of life for these children in that week, who otherwise would have found the holiday period challenging, due to the lack of routine and stimulation. 

Some of the parents use the club to work, without this facility (due to the lack of suitable provision) many parents of ASD children are unable to work, reducing the family’s income, impacting the quality of their children’s home, food, clothing, and experiences.   In enabling parents to work, the club contributes to combating family poverty, providing children and families with a better standard of living. Having a higher income helps to pay for sensory equipment and other things that can help to support the wellbeing of their child with ASD.

For families where there is a child with ASD and complex needs that also have neuro-typical children, their time and energy can be dominated by the child with ASD, and the neuro-typical children often must make many allowances for their siblings.  Some of the families using the club, use this time to focus their attention on their neuro-typical children - helping them to feel valued and enjoying experiences they cannot normally access if their sibling with ASD is with them (for example visit a bowling alley that would be sensory overload for their sibling with ASD resulting in a meltdown).

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"Thank you for making it possible for my family to send our son to your club knowing he is safe and still thriving." Parent Feedback

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