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LIFT (Low Income Families Together)

Muirhouse is in the top 5% of most deprived areas in Edinburgh, and we have a variety of families within the community who are living below the poverty line and facing in-work poverty. This is as a result of many families living in private lets due to the lack of council housing, which makes finding a job to cover the extremely high rent nearly impossible.

We have a high number of single parents who do not have a partner to help with childcare so the options were limited.

We wanted to find out what hours parents worked, and when they would need the childcare. Feedback was that when looking for childcare, often the minimum was three hours; families often needed less time but had to pay for the three hours. We wanted to offer a flexible childcare service, if the children only came for half an hour, or an hour then that’s what they could have and pay for.

We work out which families need what via an online form that the parent/s fill in and then we can look at how many children and how many sessions are needed to allow families to work at a fraction of the cost they were paying. We offer the same service to all children, including those with additional support needs, challenging behaviour or low wellbeing.

We hope flexible childcare will be recognised as a feasible way of working and hope we will access more funding in the future to eradicate in-work poverty.

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