Where it all started
Ayrshire Children’s Services CIC (ACS) is an innovative Social Enterprise based in Saltcoats in North Ayrshire, established in 2011 and registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC) in August 2012.
ACS provides vital support for children and young people aged 3 – 18 with addition support needs (ASN), together with valued respite for their families.
Since their inception over 5 years ago, ACS has grown from strength to strength and provides a ‘One 2 One’ Support Service which incorporates home support. These services offer ‘Fun through Play’ enabling Children & Young People with ASN to sample new activities and make natural friendships.
By 2015 ACS moved into office in Saltcoats main town We were up and rolling as a service to support families who were in receipt of SDS. ACS now support 35 families with over 450 hrs of support per mth. We were still a relatively small team.
As the first social enterprise childcare support service in North Ayrshire we were starting to be noticed for our different approach to family support.
2016 was a year of change for ACS we were growing and become an embedded service within North Ayrshire we were now supporting families with over 560 hrs of support a mth. Our feedback from families was very positive and our reputation of constancy, honesty and good practice was being championed by the families we were working with. Our team was growing and we employed an office manager and team leader. We gained recognition from 'Investing in young people' and we started to work with school to open up work experience placements for young adult ASN pupils
The idea to create a flexible support centre started a few years back. However in 2017 ACS began to build the idea in reality. This was when our idea for KO-NEKT started to come to life. By the end of 2017 we found premises and started to renovate. All hands to the Deck with late nights and early mornings to get ready for our opening week in March 2018.
COVID arrived to rock our world - however ACS stayed constant for the families we support. We never closed our doors or stopped our services, we thought outside the box and continued to be a steady boat in the storm of COVID 19. Staff were trained in 'infection control' and met each week to discuss COVID rules, they shared good practice and were equipped with hygiene packs containing everything they required to keep safe and COVID free.
2020 also was the year ACS was awarded 'Most Innovative Community Wealth Builder' in Scotland by the Global Business Award
In 2021 ACS opened its 2nd KO-NEKT centre in Ayr South Ayrshire. This is not the end of the road for our growth plans as we run our 'KO-NEKT across Scotland Campaign. This will see a ACS open KO-NEKT centre in various locations across Scotland.
Moving forward - ACS still remains thee biggest and most successful 'Social Enterprise' childcare service in Ayrshire and with determination, hard work and the commitment of our staff and families we will continue to grow our services to enable children across Scotland to benefit from the support we offer.