Childcare charity Flexible Childcare Services Scotland (FCSS) is working with technology partner Ember on the design of a digital system to help families meet their childcare needs.
They are further developing the charity’s Caerus nursery management software to collect real time data on the supply and demand of school age childcare across Scotland.
The project is responding to a challenge to better understand the market, set by the Scottish Government’s Early Learning and Childcare Directorate as part of the latest round of the CivTech Accelerator programme.
Susan McGhee, chief executive at FCSS, said: By understanding the current landscape and helping parents to access school age childcare we will be able to ensure that they can continue in meaningful work or education – a core reason FCSS was created.
“Currently in Scotland there are more than 1,000 regulated school age childcare providers offering initiatives such as breakfast and after school clubs. Unfortunately there is currently less visibility of unregulated providers of specialist activities, such as drama classes or sports clubs.
“By developing our existing Caerus software, we will be able to collect data which will not only help us to understand the supply and demand of school age childcare, but also uncover parents' unmet needs.
“The CivTech programme will help us to gain these insights which we can share with Scottish Government’s Early Learning Centre team so that we can work together to develop a system that can meet the school age childcare needs of families across Scotland.”
Range of services
School age childcare describes the current set of childcare services and activities, formal and informal, regulated and unregulated, which happen before school, after school and during the school holidays.
FCSS said it can be extremely beneficial to families as it often gives adults the time they need to work, train or study with the knowledge that their children are being cared for.
Image from Flexible Childcare Services Scotland