One year in Kilmarnock

by Suzanne Jones, Service Manager at FCSS Kilmarnock

Growing the team

I became the service manager at FCSS Kilmarnock a year today. It was a whirlwind! After receiving the keys from CentreStage I started working in the nursery preparing the rooms for our visit from the Care Inspectorate – finding unloved furniture and resources that I could turn into toys and play equipment; old tea pots and tea sets so that we could continue following the Curiosity Approach which aims to give children back their freedom by igniting their natural curiosity and imagination.

When we opened our doors we only had 3 childcare practitioners and only 7 children, now we have 10 practitioners and 135 children registered! As I say it’s been very busy!

Developing the learning environment

Developing the learning environment has been gradual; we didn’t want to overload the nursery with resources straight away, we also wanted the children to be involved as much as possible. The team spoke to the children to understand the kinds of toys they wanted, not only has this led to a wide and varied range of resources which the children love but it also helped the team and the children to form strong relationships.

First aid training

The team have been carrying out First Aid training on our Azilo training hub, they have also attended Paediatric First Aid training ensuring that the children always remain safe while in our care. Our hope is to get Millie’s Mark accreditation so that we can follow our sister services in Dundee and Keith and become the first organisation in Scotland where each and every service has Millie’s Mark.

Other training

But our development hasn’t ended with first aid training – as I say, we’ve been busy! Our team have now completed training in: Infection control, Health and Safety, Food hygiene, Safeguarding, Child Protection and Allergy Awareness. We’re really proud to have achieved so much in such a short time and most importantly the children will remain safe while here at FCSS Kilmarnock.

Any events with centre stage

We are so lucky to be so part of the CentreStage Village it gives us a great neutral space to meet parents and to get involved in their events and signposting sessions – all of which are invaluable to the local community and to the parents using our services.

It also helps that they make some fantastic hot chocolates and cakes in the CentreStage cafe…as if we needed another excuse to pop over!

Getting to know children and families

Meeting the needs of the families who use our services is our priority and we’ve recently held a parent’s evening so that all of our new parents can meet all of our new team – it has also given us a great opportunity to discuss their children’s developmental needs so that we can work together to create their personal plans and find out whats working well and what we can improve – thankfully the feedback so far has been extremely positive, we will continue to work with parents to ensure this doesn’t change.

I cant quite believe it’s been a year already but I’m so pleased that the nursery is taking shape and that we are able to support more and more families in the area….here’s to the next year and all the other years to come!