In late 2022 the Trust began working towards the goal of conducting an initial feasibility study for possible solutions to the childcare crisis in Tiree – a problem identified as one of the top priorities for the new Community Development Plan. We were fortunate enough to secure funding for this project, alongside the new Cruas pilot project, from Argyll and Bute Council’s Community-Led Learning and Development Fund, with the remaining funding from the Scottish Government Rural and Island Communities Ideas Into Action Fund (administered by Inspiring Scotland).
The childcare feasibility pilot got underway at the start of February 2023 following appointment of local Jen Alcock as consultant. Jen has years of professional experience as a childcare manager and was ideal to take the work forward, as a key aspect of it was for the Trust to develop a clearer picture of what would be involved in terms of required staff skills, facilities, procedures and registrations, Care Commission standards, etc.
The project took place over the following 9 weeks, and involved the input of a group of local parents forming a childcare consultation group, including a member of the Trust Board. Discussions were sought with the school, other community based childcare services from which we could learn lessons, and local facilities which might offer potential venues for childcare to take place.
The final report was presented to the consultation group on March 31st, and then the Trust Board on April 18th, and has now been published below: