Answers still needed on 0-3 year old childcare provision

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has received an assurance from Orkney Islands Council that nursery places for eligible 2-5 year olds will be found and that before and after school care will also be provided when the Peedie Breeks Nursery closes later this year. The MSP however, has not yet received confirmation on what will be available for 0-3 year olds who are presently catered for by Peedie Breeks.

Mrs Grant said “Some parents have contacted me to advise of the uncertainty and how this is leaving them worried about what future provision will be in place.

“Orkney Islands Council has told me that the council has a point of contact for all parents affected and they are gathering information about how parents use the existing service.

“They advise that as of August 2020, all of the largest nursery settings in Orkney, including two in Kirkwall, will run all year round and operate before and after school and that parents who formerly used Peedie Breeks for extended days will have alternative choices.

“The council has also committed to finding places for eligible 2-5 year olds who are presently catered for at Peedie Breeks.” she continued. “They brought the enrolment forward from March to January so that numbers could be gathered and contingencies put in place. Numbers for this age group, they say, should be known by the end of this week.

“What is still not clear however, is what provision will be available for the 0-3 year age group when Peedie Breeks closes. I have already written to the Scottish Government to ask what they will do to support parents with regard to 0-3 year old provision and I await their response.”