New funding from the Shared Prosperity Fund

Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS) has received £ £129,259 from the UK Government thought the UK’s Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

The UKSPF has been created to build pride in place and increase life chances across the UK. Their main levelling up objectives are to boost productivity, improve public services, restore a sense of community and to empower local leaders and communities.

FCSS was created to challenge the inflexibility of current childcare provision across Scotland and to meet employer needs around a more flexible workforce.

Their flexible model allows families to book and pay for only the hours of childcare they need, those eligible for funded early learning and childcare hours are also able to use these hours flexibly.

 According to the charity’s latest research 84% of their service users are in either full or part time employment thanks to their flexible model which has also helped to reduce parents’ childcare costs as they only pay for the time they use. The combined increase in income, and the reduction in costs, has led to 80% of the families they support citing an increase to their overall household income; 21% saying that their income had increased by more than £5,000 / year.

Funding from the UKSPF will allow the charity to further invest in two of their Aberdeen settings: Cummings Park and Tillydrone; enhancing their flexible childcare provision and enabling parents and carers to make genuine and unrestricted choices about work, education, or training and empowering them to build better lives for themselves and their family.

According to Chief Executive Susan McGhee,

“Our flexible childcare model supports parents to enter or remain in employment, education or training. It contributes to a thriving and resilient community as families with more income spend money locally and the infrastructure grows. Families will be better off financially, have improved wellbeing, and be better able to spend quality time together, all of which makes them, and subsequently the wider community, stronger and more resilient.”

As well as having a direct impact on families the funding will allow the nurseries to create stronger connections with their local communities, uniting other charities and support groups so that local people have access to better information and support through a single and trusted space.