The Children’s Service provides childcare for children aged from six weeks to five years. The crèche facility is regulated by the Care Inspectorate (Social Care & Social Work Improvement Scotland (SCSWIS)). It is registered to accommodate up to 24 children, however, the numbers at any time are dictated by the age of the children attending, for example, younger children need a higher ratio of staff.
Although registered and inspected as a crèche, the work undertaken by the staff is more involved and complex than that of a traditional crèche facility due to the nature of the business of the Centre and the reasons for the referral for support. For example, children’s services staff will undertake specific pieces of work with individual children following on from the assessment and are required to undertake observations on the children attending and ensure that case records are maintained identify:
The crèche is used for caring for children whilst they are involved in the adult activity programme in the Centre.
Children’s workers will also ensure that children are referred on to other agencies where there are identified additional needs, for example, sensory impairment, speech or language problems, etc.
As part of the children’s programme, there are opportunities for parents to be involved with the activities, for example, the Baby Cafe which provides an opportunity for new mothers and babies to participate in art, messy play and cooking sessions. This is linked with the provision of advice from the allocated midwife/health visitor on feed preparation and healthy snacks. Another example is also Toddler Time where parents can join their children in the play room and socialise with other parents and is an opportunity to promote the importance of play inside and outside the home.
There is provision within the children’s service, although limited, for respite care to be provided at times where there are exceptional pressures or crisis within the family.