A newly formed Scottish charity, Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS), are preparing to launch an innovative early learning and childcare management system that will revolutionise the childcare sector.
FCSS, the only charity in Scotland to deliver and champion flexible childcare provision, was created after it was found that parents were unable to accept offers of employment due to a lack of high quality, flexible, accessible and affordable childcare services.
Families who use FCSS’s services are able to book day care by the hour, only paying for the time they book. They aren’t subject to any up-front costs, deposits or holiday retainers.
The charity is about to launch new software that will allow other childcare providers to offer the same service.
Caerus is a unique management resource that enables early learning and childcare providers to increase bookings, be more flexible and manage staffing more efficiently.
Intuitive desktop and mobile applications show sessions, rotas and staff & children checked in, giving providers real time, downloadable reports as well as providing parents with greater transparency and control over their current and future bookings.
According to Susan McGhee, Chief Executive Officer:
“Caerus has been co-designed with groups of parents, carers, and childcare providers and will available, totally free of charge, to all Care Inspectorate registered childcare providers in Scotland. This software is a game changer in delivering equity of access to high quality early learning and childcare to all children, families and communities. It benefits families who have previously faced barriers in accessing services enabling them to source the care they need to allow them to enter employment, education or training. It also allows childcare providers to fill capacity gaps thus increasing their sustainability and creates job opportunities, bringing returners back to a workforce traditionally known for employee churn.”
The Caerus system has been funded by Scottish Government’s Social Innovation Partnership and will allow private, public and third sector nurseries to remain competitive, sustainable and desirable.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:
“Flexible Childcare Services Scotland is doing great work to support low-income families looking to access employment or training opportunities, or to re-enter or stay in the labour market.
“Childcare has an important role to play in our aims to tackle child poverty so I am pleased to launch Caerus which will allow more providers to support parents or carers who need extra support to juggle childcare with insecure work or shift work.”
The new system has been developed so that it will complement the SEEMiS Early Years system meaning early learning and childcare providers have full support for all areas of their service.
Flexible Childcare Services Scotland already run nurseries in Dundee, Aberdeenshire, and across the Highlands and Islands, delivering a flexible childcare model to children and families. Their model has been built with parents and providers and will have a hugely positive impact across Scotland.
According to one parent in Dundee, “We’ve been using FCSS’s flexible day care service for a while now. I work shifts and finding a nursery that fitted with my work pattern was really difficult. Thanks to FCSS I can book different times each week as soon as my rota is out. It’s convenient, it saves me money and my son loves it!”
FCSS are launching the new software solution on Saturday 1st December in Dundee. For more information visit www.fcss.org.uk