A year on at FCSS Keith

by Eleanor Smith

So, today marks my first anniversary with Flexible Childcare Services Scotland. I had familiarised myself with One Parent Families Scotland and then followed the journey of FCSS through various social media platforms. I admired their ethos in offering families flexibility, accessibility, and affordability. I had been in the early year’s sector for over thirty years, and when a post became available close to where I live, I did not give it a second thought in applying. The interview process was motivating and relaxed, and the information on the company aims made me more eager to join the team. So I was delighted when offered the role of Manager in the Keith Service.

I can hardly believe that we have nearly reached the end of our first year. We have faced many challenges, including Covid-19 and spending our first year in temporary accommodation. Nevertheless, we have turned negatives into positives and worked together as a team and with our families to give the children high-quality care and learning. We still have a journey in front of us to reach our aims, but we move into our purpose-built setting in August 2021, where the environment will allow us to continue with our improvement journey.

I feel blessed in many ways with the team that works closely with the children and families each day; they are excited, dedicated and motivated to do the very best for children and families in Keith and surrounding areas. We share the same vision and aims and agree that children’s play is the primary learning vehicle in the early years. My knowledge and skills in delivering play through loose parts, beautiful and captivating resources and mixing the old with the new have been taken on board by the team and executed in the most exciting ways.

The higher management team are strong individuals who feel more like a family than work colleagues and at every opportunity will celebrate achievements alongside giving support when needed.  Everyone is planning and working on making children and families lives better in Scotland. When the whole team are working on the same goal is becomes a magical place to be. Managers from all settings support and listen to each other both in a professional and personal manner. Meetings are relaxed and encourage everyone to have a voice and be part of the positive changes for the company.

The last year has changed me for the better, being in a role that I am excited to wake up each day, having a team that will go above and beyond for our youngest children and a support network that makes me excited for the future. I have met the most wonderful families, been accepted into the Keith community with open arms and have been privileged to care for the best children. I look forward to the year ahead and continuing to build my role with the company and be part of the planned changes. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing you are making a difference.