Funded providers praise service for support provided during lockdown

The vast majority of funded providers have commended Aberdeenshire Council’s Early Years’ service for the support given during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, a survey has revealed.

A questionnaire was sent to funded providers with 40 responding to ten questions. There were 14 private nurseries, 14 voluntary-run playgroups and 12 childminders who took part in the survey. 

One question asked about how supportive they felt the service had been over the lockdown in response to the Coronavirus pandemic: 21 said ‘very supportive’, whilst a further 17 said ‘supportive’ and only two responding ‘could be more supportive’.

One respondent said: “The team have worked really hard to keep us well informed and updated with information. They have also been very helpful in helping our setting to obtain volunteer hours to help us keep in touch with our families while in furlough, which has been difficult during this pandemic.”

Another responded: “The Early Years’ Service have been very supportive to me. They have responded so quickly to any enquiry that I have made. I have made a few as this is all new to me. They are always so very helpful and informative. Credit should go to all the staff for their hard work and commitment they have shown during this difficult time by ensuring we are provided with information and help and support. They are without a doubt an amazing dedicated team. I am a new funded provider and haven’t had the opportunity to participate in the Skype session but was really grateful that I was sent the notes from the meeting. As a new provider I feel very grateful as I never expected this high level of support.”

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “I am really pleased to see this fantastic feedback from funded providers and it is great that the service is providing such high levels of support during a time of global crisis. There are many positives for the service to take, I am sure they won’t rest on their laurels but will continue to give the best possible service to parents and funded providers when it comes to childcare.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “Customer satisfaction is so important, so it is excellent to see so many positive responses from the partner providers who took the time to respond. Feedback is always gratefully received so please let us know your views so we can continue to offer you the best possible service.”

During lockdown the service ran a series of information sessions for funded providers using Skype. Ten respondents found the sessions to be ‘very helpful’, whilst a further ten described them as ‘helpful’ and only one respondent considered them to be ‘somewhat unhelpful.’

Twelve respondents considered meeting notes and updates given by the service to be ‘extremely useful’, a further eight described them as ‘somewhat useful’ and only one respondent thought they were ‘somewhat not useful.’

For more information about Aberdeenshire Council’s Early Years’ service please visit https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/childcare-and-early-learning/