New Learning Opportunities with FCSS

Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS) has developed a new stand alone unit, accredited by SQA– Flexibility Within the Childcare Environment, SCQF Level 6.

Why do we need flexibility in the childcare environment?

FCSS has long campaigned for flexible childcare to be recognised as not only a necessary service model, but also one that delivers quality care and learning opportunities for children.

The SQA has now recognised this and approved the new stand-alone unit which has been  created by FCSS and can now be delivered by any training provider across Scotland.

According to the SQA’s guidance:

“The need for more flexible early learning and childcare has never been more prevalent than it is now. The post COVID-19 lockdown, and changes in the way people manage their work will create a situation where childcare providers are required to remodel their delivery to move to a much more flexible model.”

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic there was a clear need for more flexible childcare services. The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 introduced a requirement on local authorities to offer more flexibility and choice over how funded hours are offered, something that FCSS is already delivering thanks to partnerships with Dundee City Council, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and Moray Council. This requirement is in place to ensure that flexibility and choice for families continue to increase year on year.

The Expansion of Early Learning and Childcare in Scotland, says that flexibility within settings should offer ‘support for parents and carers in work, training or study and a commitment to offer patterns or provision better aligned with working patterns whilst delivering this in a way that ensures a high-quality experience for the child’. With this expansion, the need for flexibility of provision has been accelerated and the sector requires support to make this transition.

This unit supports the workforce to fully understand how they contribute to the delivery of high quality, flexible services with positive outcomes for children and young people. This unit, together with Flexible Childcare Services Scotland’s free software Caerus that support settings in managing and administering flexible provision, can be used by whole-centres to introduce flexibility within their early learning and childcare settings.

For more information visit the SQA’s Guidance on Assessment and Delivery for Centres