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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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Can I choose a different nursery from the one in my local area?

Although most parents choose to put their child to a nursery setting in their local area, you may find it more convenient to use a nursery elsewhere. To ask for a place at a different nursery is called a Placing Request. A reason such as ‘siblings attend school already’ or ‘moving house’ may be considered. You may also want to choose another setting because of your childcare arrangements. We will try to give your child a place in the nursery of your choice, but this will depend on how many spare spaces the nursery has. You can complete a Placing Request form online.

Acknowledgement of placing requests will be sent with final decisions being made in early May. Please note placing requests cannot be guaranteed, and a placing request into nursery does not guarantee a place in primary one.

Related questions

Related Sites

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS