From 2015-18, Humber Museums Partnership devoted a strand of their MPM project work to developing the Under 5s and Families audience. Each partner recruited a dedicated Under 5s Officer develop and embed working with Under 5s and their Families in their venues, staff and programming.
In the first phase, the team researched best practice across the country and developed a partnership with Dr Abi Hackett and Dr Lisa Procter at the University of Sheffield, to create a toolkit to use on their visits to assess museums and gallery spaces against the needs and behaviours of Under 5s and their families. The result was the APSE Framework
Throughout the project we consulted widely with families and early years professionals and in 2016, we piloted the Arts Award for Under 5s, which became the Creative Families Award.
In 2017, the partnership again worked with Dr Hackett and Dr Procter, and their new colleague Dr Christina Macrae, from Manchester Metropolitan University, on a further project to explore how Under 5s interact with our sites. This findings of this project were published as a paper in Children’s Geographies in 2018.
Each service worked on developing spaces (dedicated galleries and smaller on-gallery interventions), loanable family resources (such as backpacks), staff training and regular programming. To view details from each service, click on the link below.
In September 2017, the partnership held the ‘Freedom to Explore’ conference in Hull,to celebrate and advocate for young children’s museum experiences. The conference focused on 3 main areas of work; creating spaces, programming and developing audiences and was attended from over 80 delegates from museums, galleries and Early Years settings across the country.
To accompany the conference, the partnership commissioned an advocacy film.
In 2018, an evaluation of the project revealed some anticipated and some surprising positive outcomes from the project.