MSP seeks solution in impending childcare crisis

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, is writing to Orkney Islands Council asking it to intervene in the impending shortage of childcare facing parents in and around Kirkwall.

Concerned parents have been in touch with the MSP advising that the impending closure of the Peedie Breeks nursery could leave some of them unable to work as they will have no other childcare provision available to them.

The MSP said “I understand Peedie Breeks is to close in the summer of 2020 due to the lease on the old Papdale Halls ending with no viable alternative being available. Orkney Islands Council have, I understand, indicated that 3-5 year olds would most likely be catered for in existing nurseries attached to schools due to the ‘1140 hours by 2020’ Scottish Government policy to extend free childcare hours. It is unclear however how the schools will be able to take on the number of children that Peedie Breeks currently cares for.

Mrs Grant said “Parents of children aged 0-3 however are unsure how they will be able to carry on working with no other childcare provision available to them and with after school care also being of concern to a number of the parents.

“I am writing to Orkney Islands Council to ask them to intervene in the immediate term and I will be writing to the Scottish Government to ask what it will do to support parents with regard to 0-3 year old provision and access to after school care.

“Parents work to provide a better life for their children, they must be supported in doing this so that they are not put in the position of having to consider if they can continue to work. That would be damaging for the parents, for the children involved and for the local economy.”