Private nurseries in Dundee have been advised they can only remain open amid the coronavirus outbreak for children of key workers or vulnerable families only.
John Swinney, Scotland’s deputy First Minister and secretary for education and skills, made the statement during a speech at parliament on Thursday, where he also revealed local authorit-run nurseries and schools would close.
Many private nurseries in the city are believed to have planned to remain open for business as usual unless they were told to close, including Roseangle House Nursery, Cherry Blossom Nursery, Red Squirrel Nursery, Buttons and Bows Nursery, and all three Oranges and Lemons nurseries in Dundee.
A senor manager at one of these nurseries, who declined to be named, said: “We have a lot of parents here who work at Ninewells Hospital or elsewhere for the NHS who would struggle to get childcare if we had to close.”
Little Einsteins Nursery and Cherry Blossom Nursery refused to comment.
Mr Swinney told ministers it was essential that some facilities remained open to cater for the children of people employed in vital sectors.
He said: “On early learning and childcare provision, it is likely that we will see many local authority nurseries close, but we do not expect or want to see all nurseries close.
“Our priorities are to ensure that key workers who need childcare can continue to access it and that we sustain private and third sector providers during this period of considerable uncertainty and challenge.
“We are advising private and third sector childcare providers that they can remain open so long as they refocus their operating models to support solely the children of critical workers and those families most in need of support.”
The statement clarifies the situation for private nurseries after confusion arose yesterday when it was announced that all schools and nurseries were to close from tomorrow, but no instruction was given to private nurseries at that stage.