Client: Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)
Timescale: June 2009
The long school summer holidays can be an expensive time for parents who need to pay for childcare to keep their children occupied during the day. To help parents save money during the difficult financial climate, DCSF worked with Kindred to raise awareness of government schemes such as childcare tax credits, childcare vouchers, Sure Start children's centres and extended schools.
- What are the main aims?
To raise awareness of government initiatives that give parents financial help for childcare costs, to communicate a simple process of claiming childcare tax credits and childcare vouchers, and to increase take up of the government schemes.
- Who is being targeted?
The target audience was all parents in England, with a bias towards those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Strategy and tactics
The PR team worked with moneysavingexpert.com founder Martin Lewis to publicise his four-step plan for working parents to claim what they are entitled to. Lewis is a keen supporter of making parents aware of initiatives that save them money. A radio day was held at a London studio and national and regional press releases distributed across a range of media. Other activity included press advertising and regional radio advertising.
- What were the challenges?
A Kindred spokesperson said: 'Tax credits and childcare vouchers are not "one size fits all" - it was important to communicate that parents consider their own individual circumstances, speak to experts at the Childcare Helpline and use a calculator on the HMRC website.' In addition, the story of Lewis' four-step plan broke on the morning of the day Michael Jackson died, so Kindred had target the features pages more heavily.