Reconnect funding

The Reconnect: Kent children and young people programme has a budget of £10 million.

It co-ordinates funding streams to maximise their impact in connecting children and young people with the things they've missed during the pandemic. For example, the £5.3 million Holiday Activities and Food Programme funding (HAF) has been combined with other funding streams, such as summer school funding received by schools, to maximise impact and participation.

Reconnect’s dedicated budget is just one aspect of the total resource supporting its aims and outcomes, others include:

  • the time of volunteers in community groups and clubs
  • the contributions of businesses and organisations
  • public donations
  • the work of practitioners in the children’s workforce.

Reconnect also secures funds from external bodies, such as the Arts Council.

How Reconnect funding is used

All funding is used to support the aims and priorities of the programme:

ThemePriorities
Learning missed
  • Address gaps in core learning in science, technology, English, art and maths.
  • Early years language development.
  • Speech, language, communication and social skills to support success in education.
  • Engage those who are struggling to return to school or not enjoying participation in learning.
Health and happiness
  • Emotional wellbeing for children and young people and ensuring young people get early support.
  • Promote the health and happiness of children and young people from identified communities whose emotional wellbeing has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic (including Black and Minority Ethnic, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller, LGBTQ+ children with a social worker, children with special educational needs, and children affected by domestic abuse or bereavement).
  • Elective Home Education due to anxiety and emotional wellbeing issues related to school.
Sport, activities and the outdoors
  • Promotion of opportunities and ensuring sustainability to enable continued participation.
  • Family approach or focus to activities. (Link with the Friends, family and community theme).
  • Training and development opportunities for young people, including volunteering.
  • Workforce development and training for sports, activities and outdoor providers. (Link with the Friends, family and community theme).
Friends, family and community
  • Events for children and young people, both locally and county wide.
  • Transport and accessibility, including localised offers and universal holiday offers.
  • Early years.
  • Inclusion: vulnerable and hard to reach cohorts of young people.
Economic wellbeing
  • Generating more work related opportunities for young people (work experience, volunteering, part time jobs, apprenticeships, traineeships).
  • Improve the delivery of careers and employability guidance in education, particularly by bringing together employers and education.
  • Supporting young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) and those at risk of NEET.
  • Supporting the transition of students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and children with a social worker into work.
  • Develop capacity in communities, and the voluntary and community sector, to support the employment prospects of young people.

County-wide commissioning

We plan to use three-quarters of the £10 million budget for commissioning activity and support for children and young people across Kent.

So far, it has been used to fund:

  • additional youth services
  • additional education opportunities
  • additional mentoring of children and young people who need extra support.

Most of the support and activities delivered county-wide will be formally procured and contracted, however, there may be circumstances where grants are the most appropriate mechanism. Either way, open and transparent processes will be applied and ad-hoc, speculative requests for funding won't be supported.

Locality grants

One-quarter of the programme’s funds have been allocated to Local Children’s Partnership Groups (LCPGs) to enable grants to be provided at a local level. The £2.5 million has been split between the 12 LCPGs, taking child population and deprivation into consideration. The first locality grant round launched in June 2021 and the second launched in October 2021.

A final grant round will be launched in the new year and this will specifically fund provision for summer 2022. Guidance and criteria for this grant round will be published shortly on the Reconnect Locality Grant page.

Other potential funding streams

One aspect of Reconnect’s vision is to help create a better connected community to support children and young people. Helping to link funding streams together is one way to do this.

You can find funding opportunities on: