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Calling all City of London mums

(19 Posts)
Marina Tue 26-Apr-05 11:33:56

I am due to have a meeting next week with the Head of the Corporation of London's CIS (Children's Information Service) to discuss ways they can make their services better known to working parents in the City.
If you work in the Square Mile and feel, like I do, The Invisible City Worker, sometimes, now's our chance. The CIS staff welcome parent feedback, so all ideas welcome, please! CAT me if you prefer.

dinosaur Tue 26-Apr-05 11:37:44

Never heard of them!

Many parents who work in teh City use one of the nearby nurseries - so those would be obvious places to put up posters etc.

Also perhaps advertise via the Bishopsgate Institute?

Not sure how you would actually get information into the workplace other than via individuals who work in them e.g. I could put up some posters and put something on teh intranet in my office.

Marina Tue 26-Apr-05 13:30:06

Exactly Dinosaur. I have decided to try and tackle them about it (they are technically colleagues...) as I am so gobsmacked at their lack of reach into the corporate community.
Apparently you only get added to their mailing list if you contact them (scratches head). That's a good way to promote yourself...
Like any other LA-funded CIS they are supposed to offer parents in their patch advice on childcare, out-of-school and holiday clubs, parenting matters, etc.

dinosaur Tue 26-Apr-05 13:38:34

Oooh, holiday club in teh City would be fab - DH would be so pleased if I could disappear off with the DSs in the morning and bring them home with me after work!

Marina Tue 26-Apr-05 13:46:13

Well, they exist. There are three different providers! I only found out this extremely useful info by writing to them to complain about the lack of holiday Clubs in the City . I too fancy this for ds, who is of an age to benefit. I will let you have the details. The website link currently takes you to documentation for their club back in Feb , the programme for the summer hols will be out in June. Apparently they are never full, can't imagine why that is!

KBear Tue 26-Apr-05 13:49:02

Hi, fellow City worker here!

Could they write to/e-mail the human resources depts of law firms, banks, etc and get them to pass on the info to their staff?

KBear Tue 26-Apr-05 13:49:50

Stick a poster up in M&S in Moorgate - that'd do it!

Marina Tue 26-Apr-05 13:51:04

By the chocolate section KBear!

otto Tue 26-Apr-05 13:55:49

This is very interesting to hear. I work just on the edge of the city in Shoreditch, so no sure I would qualify for its services, but an advice line or drop-in centre would be helpful and could give info on rights for working mothers, tax credits, nursery vouchers and guidance on asking for flexible working etc. And a city-based holiday scheme would be very useful when ds gets a bit older.

Writing to human resources departments is a good idea. What about some sort of promotional stand, maybe in Liverpool Street.

dinosaur Tue 26-Apr-05 14:26:07

Thanks Marina

Marina Tue 26-Apr-05 14:46:08

Will do dino - I expect the scheme itself will be terrific, it's just that finding out about it was like extracting blood from a stone.
Otto, that's exactly what one would hope of them, and to do them credit, I think they do have all this info at their fingertips. They just don't seem to be very proactive about drumming up business...
Because the Corporation has such a small resident population, it historically and currently offers a lot of services and joint ventures with adjacent boroughs, especially Islington and Tower Hamlets. So I think someone in Shoreditch is unlikely to be sent packing.
Here is the link: City CIS so you can see what's on offer. The presentation could be improved but there is loads there that I never even knew about...

DickWhittingtonsCat Tue 26-Apr-05 15:28:01

I have used their services and they are so rubbish in promoting themselves. Even the free lunchtime concerts and evening classes don't get promoted properly. I think leafleting can be effective, at key points, eg M&S at lunchtime, outside Tube Stations in rush hour. Not sure where they are allowed to put up posters. Pls will you give him/her a hassle about what has happened to the after school club which used to be in Bishopsgate Churchyard? The City e-shot would be a good way of communicating except no one seems to get it except for me. KBear's suggestion is good I think but will depend on HR policy of each co. Will you also ask what they are doing to increase the no of registered childminders in the City? I wonder whether the problem is the low resident population, ie so few women seeking that type of work can afford a place in the City with enough space for children to play. Hence, greater need for after school club in a larger shared space. What can the CIS do to help working parents recruit someone to pick up their children from schools in the City and take them home (registered childminders obviously aren't allowed to do this under current rules, and a nanny is too expensive for many of us).

Marina Tue 26-Apr-05 15:42:57

Hello DWC - I signed up for e-shots on your recommendation! I have already suggested it to CIS as a way of not hiding behind the sofa any more. They are working with Islington to get more childminders in the City, apparently they now have three. (A 200% increase on the one they had when ds was born).
Thanks for the suggestions, I will be feeding all of them into my discussion with the man in charge.

beachyhead Tue 26-Apr-05 16:02:30

I agree about somehow hosting seminars on childcare voucher schemes for HR departments in the City - that would be great - instead of having to educate HR ourselves..... Holiday clubs would be good too.....

Prufrock Tue 26-Apr-05 22:39:27

And make sure you point out to him that their services need to be offered to the male working population i teh city as well - it sounds as if they may be the sort of dinosaurs who would happily set up a campaign to target women in the city only.

Marina Wed 27-Apr-05 10:42:20

I will Prufrock
I was heartened by how many men there were at the CoL's Childcare Voucher Provider presentation last week. I am very sure this level of interest in childcare provision is not the norm in the Square Mile.
More suggestions needed...
My ideas included a Parents' Forum (bring your lunch), for speakers including childcare providers (but also parenting experts, nutritionists etc) to brief parents; and better services for pregnant women in the City, including encouraging the NCT to start offering lunchtime antenatal education.

batters Wed 27-Apr-05 11:18:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

otto Wed 27-Apr-05 11:39:46

What about somebody you could talk to who would offer the same advice you can get from a health visitor - eg feeding, sleeping, development etc. As a full-time working mum I feel quite isolated at times. I don't get chance to drop in at my HVs clinic as it means taking time off work, but would find it useful to have somebody to talk to.

Marina Wed 27-Apr-05 11:42:53

That is a brilliant idea otto, we experience exactly the same issue.

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