Highland childcare charity saved from threat of closure
One Parent Families Scotland supporting Highland childcare service to continue
Direct Childcare, an innovative service covering the Highlands and Moray that provides safe, professional childcare was due to close at the end of last year due to financial constraints. It has since entered a rescue package with One Parent Families Scotland’s (OPFS) Flexible Childcare Service (FCS) allowing it to continue to provide care services and secure jobs as they jointly work on a long-term viability plan with backing of partners.
OPFS was established in 1944 and has a long history of providing services to support children and families. Whilst most of the work carried out by OPFS is targeted at single parent families its FCS works with all families providing tailored childcare solutions to meet individual needs.
Satwat Rehman, Director OPFS, said: “OPFS believes all children and families should have access to high quality, flexible, affordable childcare. Our experience in delivering tailored childcare solutions meant we were ideally positioned to help when Direct Childcare was facing closure. The most important thing here is that by working collaboratively and with the support of our partner agencies we have minimised disruption to children and families in Highland region.”
Fiona Ednie, Executive manager Direct Childcare, said: “I am absolutely delighted for the families and staff and we now look forward to working with OPFS. It is a very difficult part of the year to be negotiating as most places shut down for the festive period but OPFS have been great and deserve a great deal of credit.
She added: “Children with additional needs, such as those on the autism spectrum, do not deal with change particularly well so the fact we have only been without services for 11 days – it is much better for their health and well-being.
Susan McGhee, Operations Director of FCS, said: “We are pleased to have been able to secure the funding needed to maintain Direct Childcare’s service provision and look forward to working with Fiona and her team to ensure long term viability.
“We are committed to high-quality childcare solutions that meet the specific needs of children and families and were impressed by the standard of service provided by Direct Childcare. It is our intention to retain the staff who have been providing care services across Inverness to ensure continuity of care and support for children and families.
“We are liaising with Highland Council and are pleased to report that they have been supportive of our plans.”