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Early Learning and Childcare

Welcome to Orkney’s Early Learning and Childcare web page. Here you will find information on our new Willow Tree Nursery (0-3 non-statutory provision) and our statutory funded early learning and childcare provision (Local Authority Nurseries and partnership childminders).

Registration week for 2022/23 - Friday 25 February 9am – Friday 4 March 5pm.


Early Learning and Childcare logoFunded Early Learning and Childcare (3-5 year olds including eligible 2 year olds)

Anyone wanting to register for the current school year (2021/22) should contact us by email.


Willow Tree Nursery  logoWillow Tree Nursery (0-3 years)

Willow Tree nursery is a new provision which opened summer of 2021 for children aged 6 months to 3 years. Children can attend until they become eligible for a government funded Early Learning and Childcare place (the term after the child turns three) which is offered in local authority nurseries throughout Orkney as detailed below.

The nursery offers both full and part time places. Parents can request a part time place based on a combination of these session times:

  • Mornings with lunch from 0800-1300 (5 hours)
  • Afternoons from 1300-1730 (4.5 hours)

All places are £6 per hour.


Frequently Asked Questions

Use the form below to search the Early Learning and Childcare for FAQs containing specific words or combinations of words.

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How many hours can I use?

We are required by the Scottish Government to provide 1140 hours of Early Learning and Childcare to 3 and 4 year olds and eligible 2 year olds.

  • Up to 30 hours per week during term-time in the following settings: Burray, Eday, Evie, Firth, Hope, North Walls, Orphir, Papa Westray, Rousay, Sanday, Shapinsay, Stenness, Stronsay, The Strynd and Westray.
  • Up to 30 hours per week during term-time or 25 hours year round which is over 46 weeks in the following settings: Glaitness, Papdale, Dounby, St Andrews and Stromness.
  • If demand is not sufficient to operate during the holiday periods at Dounby, Stromness or St Andrews, provision will be offered in Kirkwall and staff from these settings will work at the hubs so your child meets a familiar adult.
  • The five weeks that the 46 week settings will be closed are Christmas and public holidays, first two weeks of July for a deep-clean and during the five in-service days.
  • Find out more about the opening hours that settings offer.
Related questions

Related Sites

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS