Hame Fae Hame LTD.

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Hame Fae Hame LTD. is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.


Highlighting best practice
Founder Kaye Sandison with
Maree Todd MSP, Scottish
Minister for Children and Young
The entrance to Hame Fae
Over 20 years ago, Kaye Sandison began delivering a local
childminding service which granted her the flexibility
to remain at home and care for her own children. She
gradually built up her customer base, skillset and confidence before
incorporating Hame Fae Hame Ltd in 2008. With her understanding
of local demand and a wealth of experience, she began providing
high-quality, flexible childcare. Kaye tells
TheParliamentary Review
about the business’s journey and discusses how interagency
collaboration is the key to the sector’s continued prosperity.
After two years of study at the University of the Highlands and Islands, I secured
the qualification required to register as a childcare manager. After considering my
experience as a parent, childminder and foster carer, I distilled a clear vision of what
I wanted to provide.
It was always my intention to work closely with existing establishments for children
and families, with the desire of providing a “home away from home”. I wanted our
setting to be play-based and able to supply wraparound care for the periods that
some fixed-structure partner providers could not cover. Finally, we wanted to be as
active as possible within our community and allow children to grow up to become
engaged citizens.
Becoming a benchmark for quality childcare
The Scottish government’s Blueprint for 2020 outlines the direction for early years
education provision, and states that it must transform to support the expansion
of and aspirations for the sector. In response to this initiative, we have driven
»Founder: Kaye Sandison
»Incorporated in 2008
»Based in Scalloway, Shetland
»Services: Childcare for children
aged 1 to 12
»No. of employees: 18
»Hame Fae Hame is 1 of just
3 private childcare settings in
Hame Fae Hame
ourselves to become an example of
how the private, public and third
sectors can best collaborate. This has
consequently helped us to secure the
best possible outcomes for children
and close the attainment gap.
Although our holistic approach is
firstly grounded in cross-sector and
interagency co-operation, it extends to
our day-to-day practices. For instance,
we have an outdoor play area and
garden on site, which allow children to
spend time playing outside every day.
We also involve them in the preparation
of meals by encouraging them to grow
their own food in our garden.
In addition to this, we encourage and
support shared parenting and children
spending time with their extended
families in Shetland; this only drives
us to increase our flexibility by way
of further external collaboration. We
fill in the gaps, which allows people
to continue their working patterns,
and thus are a key driver of economic
wellbeing for the whole community.
Ensuring a truly qualified
As part of our drive to retain staff
and develop a quality workforce,
we cover all training costs for our
employees internally. We do this in
the recognition that a highly qualified
team will lead to a better quality of
service and an improved perception of
the industry – which, in turn, will lead
to a greater and more diverse range
of people regarding childcare as a
worthwhile career path.
The significant government
push to upskill the sector would
be complemented well by the
establishment of a national funding
framework – it’s now more necessary
than ever. The drive to double
childcare hours across the sector may
mean that many private providers lose
staff to local authorities.
Finally, for the good of our workforce,
I believe that the apprenticeship
framework for the sector needs to
be re-evaluated. The jump between
SVQ 2 and SVQ 3 qualifications is
daunting, especially for younger or
lessexperienced members of staff.
The road ahead – further
interagency co-operation
The aforementioned push to double
the number of available hours by 2020
is clearly the biggest challenge we
face, both individually and across the
sector. If it causes private providers
across the industry to go under, we
will soon have fewer settings than
ever to cover unsociable hours or
holidays. Thankfully, we have an active
and supportive relationship with the
Shetland Islands Council’s education
department – we believe that only
through closer interagency collaboration
can the sector move forward.
Our first premises,
created as part of a
redevelopment project
with the local housing
It was always
my intention
to work
closely with
for children
and families
Highlighting best practice
We are well on our way to achieving
this. After outgrowing our initial
premises, we moved into the former
primary school, along with a health
centre and playgroup, which allowed
everyone involved to work together on
the same premises. Transitions are now
much easier for each child, and each
organisation enjoys a closer relationship
with the next. Our presence has in fact
led to an increase in the school roll.
Equally helpful are government
childcare vouchers, which many of
our parents already use. This is an
excellent example of collaboration
between our sector and government
as funds are protected for the provider
in question, while the guardian or
parent saves money. Although a
good idea, the scheme struggles in
practice – payment is often slower
than it should be, and small companies
suffer as a result. Additionally, parents
of older children qualify for a more
generous scheme that is no longer
available. More direct payments and
an appropriately integrated voucher
scheme would certainly be beneficial
for all partiesinvolved.
A rather unique geography
Shetland’s buoyant but fragile
economy requires flexible childcare to
support smaller and local businesses. If
they are tied into rigid childcare hours
and contracts, they may well suffer.
Business owners among our parents
have informed us that, were it not for
flexible childcare, they would not have
been able to start their companies.
Our location also poses a challenge.
Alongside the islands’ seasonal workforce
and weather-dependent industries,
we find it difficult to liaise with other
managers and share ideas. There are only
two other private childcare settings on
the isles, and while the internet, National
Day Nursery Association membership
and information from Early Years
Scotland keep us up to date, improved
connectivity would be welcome.
A more certain future
Just like the rest of the UK, Shetland
has been affected by the referendum
decision. The isles have a large
Hungarian and Polish population who
make ample use of the setting as they
don’t have extended family nearby; if
they struggle to secure citizenship, we
may lose a significant portion of our
business. We also directly employ French
and Hungarian nationals, and leaving the
EU could prove to be a difficulty in that
regard – finding two trained members
of staff on short notice is no easy feat.
Going forward, what we really need
is clarity. It isn’t just necessary with
regard to Brexit – Scotland’s drive
to double available childcare hours
needs to be explored and supported
further by both local and central
government. Between new legislation
and a changing political environment,
it’s a difficult time for industry across
the UK, but I’m confident that, In
spite of adverse circumstances, we will
continue to prosper and thrive.
Our holistic
approach is
grounded in
We moved to a primary
school in Scalloway after
outgrowing our initial
premises, pictured here


This article was sponsored by Hame Fae Hame LTD.. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.