This week one of my fabulous colleagues reminded me that it was one year since I stepped into the role of CEO here at Flexible Childcare Services Scotland. This has prompted much thought and reflection and led me to deciding to pop this marker in the sand, to thank my utterly amazing team, the Board that trust me to deliver our organisation’s aims, the funders that support our work, the partner organisations we collaborate with, our frontline workforce and our central support teams in admin and finance. And of course, those most important of people, the families who trust us to look after their children and young people and the children and young people themselves.
I’ve had an incredible year full of ideas, challenges, opportunities and adventures, there have been tough moments, not least Covid19 landing on our doorstep just weeks after we began trading at 20 childcare services, but the moments of joy, pride and satisfaction far outweigh anything else and I look forward with hope and enthusiasm to many more years with Team FCSS.
In acknowledgement of how far we have come in this rollercoaster year here are some of our key achievements:
- Taken over 20 registered childcare services including full re-registration with Care Inspectorate, assignation of contracts and TUPE of staff teams.
- Secured a contract to deliver flexible, funded childcare in Moray (launches with hub services next week and full services next month).
- Developed and launched our innovative digital tool, the Flexibility Pathway Toolkit, designed to help childcare providers across Scotland increase flexibility in their delivery models. This tool has a full operational management tool with booking facility and rota planning at its core.
- Hosted a wonderful conference event for the sector where our software was launched by Communities Minister, Aileen Campbell. We had fantastic speakers, loads of super exhibitors and circa 300 fabulous delegates.
- Developed additional functionality, Flexibility Pathway Connect, to help key worker parents find childcare during Covid-19.
- Supported providers across Scotland, England and even New Zealand to increase the flexibility within their service model.
- Developed great relationships and partnerships with likeminded organisations, regulators, funders, and both local and national government.
- Launched a national sessional staff bank.
- Achieved accreditation for paying the real living wage.
- Set up and operated new childcare services to fill gaps in access to key worker childcare services.
- Protected jobs and look after our team during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Started development work on a series of People Projects designed to support the sector.
- Achieved partnership status with three of Scotland’s local authorities.
- Delivered Connection Boxes to 500 of our families to support their emotional wellbeing and help provide activities for their children during lockdown.
- Began working towards Millie’s Mark accreditation for our services.
- Created our new Fintry Community Childcare Hub plan, applied for a Community Asset transfer and got the approval we needed to turn our plan to reality.
All of this plus the thing we are most proud of, lots of happy children and young people using our services every day.
We have so many wonderful plans for the year ahead, including a restructure to support our growth aspirations, partnerships with more of our peer organisations in the sector, more services, increased digital tool functionality and so much more, watch this space for more news coming soon.