Orkney Islands Council is to provide two support services for the children of Category 1 key workers over the summer holiday period.
For key workers in this category, childcare will be available for nursery-age children along with an activity club for school children from P1 and above.
James Wylie, Executive Director of Education, Leisure and Housing, said: “Since the closure of all schools, early learning and childcare settings in March, we have offered childcare where needed for the children of key workers in Categories 1-3.
“This has been provided by school staff who, in many cases, were running the childcare hub while also providing on-line learning and support for children from their usual classes and I thank them for their commitment and dedication over the last few months.
“Once the school holiday begins, we will no longer have sufficient staff available to us to offer this level of service and our efforts will need to be directed towards the children of Category 1 key workers. It’s important that school staff now take a break in preparation for the significant work that now lies ahead when schools reopen in August.
“Since the start of lockdown, the Scottish Government has stressed that childcare should only be provided for key workers who have no alternatives available to them – and that continues to be the case for the nursery-aged childcare and activity club we will offer over the holiday period.
“We regret that we will no longer be in a position to provide childcare for the children of Key Workers from all three Key Worker categories – although we will do this if space allows. We hope that finding alternative sources of childcare will prove more straightforward now that Scottish Government has given permission for childminders to return to work.”
Parents and carers wishing to apply for access to either the activity club or nursery age childcare should complete an application available here www.orkney.gov.uk/CV-KW
The Council will contact all applicants within two working days. Successful applicants wishing to place a child into either setting will be asked to provide a minimum of 24 hours’ notice.
Category 1 key workers:
Health and Care workers directly supporting COVID response, and associated staff; Health and Care workers supporting life threatening emergency work, as well as critical primary and community care provision; Energy suppliers; staff providing childcare/learning for other Category 1 staff.