Enterprise Childcare aims to improve the lives of children and their families by putting their needs at the centre of service delivery, using good practice models to deliver high-quality, flexible childcare and training.
Enterprise Childcare’s most established services include a mobile crèche, autism services and their Positive Future project, which works to develop a child’s relationships with parents and carers.
Their two biggest operations, however, are their Out of School services and their Pre 3+ Early Learning & Childcare Centre.
EC’s Out of School programme services eight local primary schools, currently providing over 60 children with stimulating play environments. Creativity is encouraged through a range of activities, from arts, crafts and baking all the way through to fire-based activities.
All services working with children and young people in Enterprise Childcare will work to promote healthy eating, with consistent information about positive choices presented regularly to children.
Outdoor play and physical activity is encouraged daily, while healthy eating practices are put into place. The children are encouraged to think about positive eating choices and contribute their own ideas for healthy snacks.
Parents are given any relevant information relating to obesity and physical activities taking place within the local communities.
Children have access to outdoor and physical play every day, with welly boots and outdoors suits provided to combat all weather conditions.
Activities range from playing in the garden with slides, cars, ramps and role play to bug hunting, den making, jumping in puddles or simply a nice walk for a picnic.
The Pre 3+ club is based in Greenock Sports Centre, which offers free access to soft play and various sports halls for 30 minutes slots free of charge to EC.
Yoga Sessions are provided for the children regularly free of charge. This is also advertised to parents as classes take place out with the nursery at various venues at £6 per class per child, ages ranging from 18 months to 12 years.
Enterprise activity from their mobile crèche, out of school care, training and nursery services makes up around two thirds of EC’s income, while grant funding is used to cover their autism services and Positive Future Project. A grant application has been submitted to Children in Need for the continuation of the autism service delivery in 2018.
The Pre3+ nursery service is a fully charged service, funded by parental contributions. Students make up 85% of customer base. Previously, James Watt College bought all the childcare places at the nursery for its students, but after the amalgamation of colleges, this funding arrangement changed. There is now no procurement process for childcare services for students, resulting in EC reporting a loss in income from this service over the past two years.
Out of School care services are fully paid for by parents, with care fees starting at £14.50 for a 3pm – 6pm service, with reduced fees payable for the second and third children of a family. All day holiday care starts at £26.36.
Recently, EC’s local council announced £13m of cuts, putting a greater emphasis on their ability to sustain themselves through enterprise activity going forward.
EC’s childcare services promote healthy lifestyle and physical activity through their expansive range of play and recreation services.
A balanced diet is promoted through the provision of healthy snacks during nursery and out of school services, while their community-based parent support programme Positive Future Project enhances parenting skills and develops the relationship between child and carer.
Parents at the Pre 3+ nursery are also provided with a leaflet which includes various nutritious ideas for children’s packed lunches. They are also encouraged to attend a healthy eating workshop at the nursery, hosted by NHS staff free of charge.
Enterprise Childcare featured as a case study in Diet, Activity & Healthy Weight: The Role of Social Enterprise.