Focusing on impact in your work is important as it helps define the difference you want to make and focus on how to gather evidence to funders to show you have made a difference. This is vitally important for our sector as there are ever decreasing resources and increasing scrutiny on how those scarce resources are delivered. But most importantly, measuring impact helps both organisations and funders think about what they are doing well and where they could improve services and sustainability to make an even bigger difference in people’s lives.

PlayBoard is delighted to be one of the 13 organisations awarded a grant from Building Change Trust through their Inspiring Impact NI Programme to better understand and embrace impact practice.

PlayBoard will act as champions in promoting Inspiring Impact by providing direct support to 12 school age childcare organisations so that they are better able to demonstrate the difference their organisations are making within their communities.

This is a new and exciting project which will support school age childcare organisations to understand the different stages of the impact measurement journey. By the end of this project, organisations involved will be better able to:

  • Understand the cycle of impact practice

  • Assess their own impact practice using the Measuring Up tool

  • Access information on impact tools and resources, and

  • Plan to apply impact practice

Over the next few months there will be information, support and help available to the 12 organisations. PlayBoard will be running information workshops between December 2014 and June 2015. These interactive workshops will give organisations a chance to investigate Code of Good Impact Practice as well as the cycle of impact practice and show them how the Measuring Up self-assessment resource can benefit their organisation. We will also introduce participants to the online resources that will assist with planning and measuring impact.

There is follow up support planned for organisations in the form of one to one mentoring sessions and follow up telephone and email support. These will provide opportunities to have questions answered and get practical help using the tools and resources. Then there will be a final roundtable event to share learning and best practice and how the measuring up tool has been used. This will be a further opportunity to reinforce the value of the tool and resources and action plan for the future.

Aligned with the implementation of the Minimum Standards for registration, quality inspections and the upcoming Bright Start Strategy, this project is focused on enhancing future impact practice mechanisms in play based school age childcare settings. PlayBoard will capture and disseminate the learning from the application of impact practice planning and resources, collectively across the organisations, identifying good practice and key success factors with the hope that it will inspire impact practice across the sector and ultimately bring about positive change for children and young people, parents, organisations and the wider community in Northern Ireland.

There are some great resources and guidance available online in the form of a Code of Good Practice, Measuring up self-assessment resource and a database of tools and frameworks to help you plan and measure the impact that your work is having. They are all available on the Inspiring Impact NI website.