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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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What is a Partnership Childminder?

They are registered childminders who have applied to work in partnership with the local authority to provide 1140 hours of Early Learning and Childcare. To enable partnership with the local authority they must be registered with the Care Inspectorate and have received grades of 4 (good) or above across all themes inspected. Once in partnership the childminder must have or gain their SVQ3 in HNC in Childhood Practice.  Partnership childminders can provide all or some of the 1140 hours, you can choose to use both your local authority nursery setting and a partnership childminder, this would be a ‘Blended Placement’. 

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Related Sites

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS