According to a recent survey by Aberdeenshire Council, 54% of families in Fraserburgh use friends and relatives to look after their children while 22% cannot find suitable childcare at all.
Thankfully Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS), the only charity in Scotland to champion flexible childcare provision, has been awarded Access to Childcare Funding to develop out of school childcare in Fraserburgh.
FCSS, a national charity who already manage settings in Dundee, Inverness, Moray and across Aberdeenshire, was created after it was found that parents were unable to accept offers of employment due to a lack of high quality, flexible, and accessible childcare services.
The Access to Childcare Fund funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Children in Scotland will provide a means for FCSS to deliver accessible and affordable school age childcare for low-income families in Fraserburgh. This will allow parents in the area to reduce childcare costs, work more flexibly and increase their incomes.
Children in Scotland Chief Executive Jackie Brock said:
“We’re very pleased that Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS) will be able to use this funding to support out of school care for families.
“FCSS’s offering typifies the childcare provision that is being backed by the Access to Childcare Fund across Scotland.
“All the funded providers have a strong focus on supporting families who are often the most excluded from the benefits of high quality out of school and holiday services.
“That experience of exclusion needs to end, and we want the learning from the Fund to contribute to every child benefitting from such services.
“We look forward to FCSS using this support to deliver childcare that’s high quality, accessible, innovative and reflective of their real commitment to children and families in the local community.”
Maureen Rennie, Flexible Childcare Scotland’s Aberdeenshire Manager said:
“We are delighted to have been awarded funding from the Access to Childcare Fund. There’s a desperate need for Out of School care in Fraserburgh, and many have significant challenges with balancing their childcare need with their work or training commitments, it can mean that they aren’t able to find sustainable employment and puts them in greater risk of being in poverty. Our new facility aims to address these issues, proving breakfast and after school clubs as well as holiday clubs throughout the year.”
The new facility will have capacity to care for 16 children before and after school and throughout the school holidays.
Staff from the centre will organise school drop offs and pick-ups, allowing parents to remain in work or education safe in the knowledge that their children are receiving the best quality care from a team of experienced and fully qualified childcare practitioners.
One Fraserburgh parent said:
“The lack of before and after school care is making it difficult to work usual hours, but impossible to pick up extra hours. This new out of school club will be a real help for working parents.”
FCSS are waiting for registration from Care Inspectorate but hope to open the new centre in January 2021.