Orkney Islands Council has published the results of a survey on the current and future provision of Early Learning and Childcare in Orkney.
In December 2015, parents of children enrolled in nursery were asked to participate by completing a questionnaire.
Feedback about current provision was very positive, with 99 per cent of parents being happy with their child’s nursery and all parents saying they found it convenient to use their local nursery.
Nurseries across Orkney currently offer a number of ways to use the 600 hours of free Early Learning and Childcare.
Seventy-eight per cent of parents were happy with how the hours were offered at the moment. The option of full days and having a choice of days was very popular in the larger nurseries. Parents also liked to use their own local nursery, even if there were fewer choices of session.
More than half of parents used other forms of childcare as well as nursery. Forty-eight per cent of parents would like to have the option of using more hours, particularly all day sessions and wrap around (before and after the school day). Some parents would also like school holiday provision.
OIC head of schools, Peter Diamond, said: “We are very pleased with the response from parents – in terms of both the number who responded and the positive feedback given. The survey has given us a good insight into what parents think about both current and future provision.
“Our plans for next year have been heavily influenced by what we have been told, and we will continue to offer as much choice and flexibility as is practically possible.”
After considering all the feedback, the OIC is also setting out its plans for next (school) year.
Small country nurseries will carry on offering part-time sessions.
The nurseries in the Papdale catchment area (Papdale Primary School, Peedie Breeks and the Strynd) will offer a choice of models for three to five year olds.
Parents will be able to choose either Papdale, which will offer two slightly longer days and one half day at either the start or end of the week, The Strynd, which will offer six 2.5 hour sessions each week, or Peedie Breeks, where hours may be fitted around work.
At Stromness, Glaitness and Burray, parents will be able to choose one or two full days as part of their six sessions.
At Dounby and St Andrews, if there are spaces, parents will be able to purchase additional sessions.
Parents will be able to collect registration packs from their local nursery from Monday, February 29.