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MSP invites discussion with OIC over childcare provision

Rhoda Grant MSP.

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, has offered to hold further talks with Orkney Islands Council over childcare provision in the county.

Ms Grant says she has previously spoken to OIC interim chief executive, John Mundell, in a bid to ensure sufficient childcare is available in the wake of the Peedie Breeks Nursery closure.

The council has said that this is a matter that it is taking very seriously, and will be the subject of consideration by the Full Council.

Ms Grant said “Constituents have been in touch with me for some time now, concerned about what childcare provision there will be when Peedie Breeks closes. The outbreak of COVID-19 however has thrown further spanners in the works for Orkney Islands Council and I spoke to the chief executive, John Mundell, about this last month.

“I contacted the Scottish Government again after my discussion with the council. What has emerged today in their response is nothing short of a mish-mash, with some information provided now, and more to follow in coming weeks.”

Ms Grant is concerned about the anxiety and confusion which may result from the closure of Peedie Breeks, particularly given the current crisis.

She explained: “Parents in Orkney are becoming increasingly concerned about cover for 0-3 year olds and after school care and I have advised Mr Mundell that I would be happy to have a further discussion with him to see how we can sort this out.”

Responding to Ms Grant’s comments, a spokesman from Orkney Islands Council said: “The council is aware that the decision by the owners to close this facility later in the summer will have a significant impact on families, businesses and other employers, and our local economy.

“This is a matter we take very seriously and it will be considered soon at a meeting of the full council.”

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