A registered childminder with a degree in Childhood Practice, Lesley Compston set up KLAS Care, which aims to reduce the amount of families living in poverty in the Renfrewshire area through the provision of affordable and flexible childcare enabling parents to access education, training or employment.
KLAS Care delivers additional social benefits by reinvesting profits in subsidising fees for low-income families, allowing inclusive access to the service; they also provide accredited training to volunteers.
Initially launched in 2010 as a partnership business between Lesley and Kirsty MacKenzie based in their home town of Linwood, KLAS Care has grown significantly since then and became a social enterprise in 2014. Lesley has received both a Start It and Build It award from Firstport, as part of the Social Entrepreneurs Fund, and most recently took part in Round 3 of LaunchMe, Scotland’s social enterprise accelerator.
With a lack of community space in the area, KLAS Care wanted to provide premises to provide childcare throughout the day as well as offer community groups, services and local people spaces to meet, engage and interact. The investment accessed through LaunchMe included a £40,000 loan from Social Investment Scotland, alongside four private investors, which they have used to convert and renovate new premises - a disused janitor’s lodging on the grounds of East Fulton Primary School.
Working hours are changing and so the needs of parents are changing; childcare is about more than just after school hours. Getting onto LaunchMe has allowed us to develop a disused building into a community facility, providing additional childcare places and access for the local community to a range of services and opportunities.