Dundee City Council has granted planning permission to Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS) so that they can renovate the former Fintry nursery in Dundee and create a new, state of the art early learning and childcare facility for 70 children.
FCSS, a national charity who already manage settings across Aberdeenshire, the Highlands and Islands and in Dundee, 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.
This new childcare centre will operate using a completely flexible childcare model, giving families the opportunity to book their childcare by the hour, with the option of changing their bookings each week to match their existing working, education or training commitments.
Lesley Tait, Head of Childcare Services and Regional Lead for Tayside and Central said,
“We are already delivering a flexible childcare model in Dundee, we know it works and this centre has the ability to show the childcare industry that flexible childcare provision isn’t just possible, but also sustainable and profitable.
“The way we work, study, and learn have, and will continue to, change. Shift working, rotating schedules and flexible working will increase, as will the need for flexible childcare. By adopting a flexible model, even in part, childcare providers can offer a valuable choice for parents and families, and once completed this centre we will be able to demonstrate that a flexible childcare model is a successful childcare model.”
FCSS’s plans go far beyond a traditional nursery setting. The charity is already in the process of developing a number of initiatives including a community garden, a community larder and a repair-reuse-recycle scheme.
They are also developing a unique Out of School Club for 24 children which will be primarily delivered outdoors while the building renovations take place. This will provide a unique learning experience before and after school and throughout the school holidays. It has been designed to support priority groups in the area including lone parent families, families that include a disabled adult or child, ethnic minority families and families where the mother is under the age of 25.
According to Susan McGhee,
“Our plans will create a service model where every child, family or community is able to access the childcare they need, at the times, and in the locations, they need it, and crucially at a price they can afford.
“This in turn will give employers a viable and sustainable workforce who are not restricted by the constraints of accessibility and affordability in their childcare needs.
“We aim to disrupt the market, provide an exemplar model, and ensure no child, family or community misses out on the opportunities that access to high quality, affordable, flexible early learning and childcare services deliver. “