Stepping Stones for Families


News & Updates

Quality Childcare - In The Family Home

Elaine Bracher, Coordinator, Stepping Stones for Families, Ayrshire Sitter Service says “This service is a real lifeline to families across Ayrshire who have children with additional support needs.”

The service has been awarded a grading of “Good” following an unannounced, and welcome visit from the Care Inspectorate. 

A unique service, providing quality childcare where children live, in their family home. Experienced workers are carefully matched with families. Children are supported to have a voice, and they decide who their worker will be.

Elaine explains “Families are given the time to get to know us; trust and have confidence in us and this is so important particularly where children have complex care needs.”

 “We provide parents and children with a much needed break. Parents have time to relax, rest and recharge. Children and young people (up to age 19) take an active role in planning activities, they tell us they really enjoy their time with us, have fun and get to explore and try new things.”

Elaine highlights “Stepping Stones for Families can bring additional resources, energy and expertise to providing exciting play and learning opportunities within the family home.”

The Care Inspectorate recognises this “The personal plans were detailed and individualised for each child. They reflected on aspects of the child's life including socialisation, wellbeing and their goals for the future. This indicated that children and young people's needs and interests were valued” (Care Inspectorate, January 2018)

 “Families tell us that our support has changed their lives.” Elaine adds “People who access our service have experience of social isolation. Our service supports children and families explore new opportunities to socialise; participate in everyday activities; enjoy time together; build connections with their local community, and develop new friendships. It’s life-changing.”

Care Inspectorate Report, Stepping Stones for Families Ayrshire Sitter Service, is available here