Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Parents reduced to tears amid major childcare shortage in Buckie

Buckie councillor Sonya Warren.
Buckie councillor Sonya Warren.

Concerns have been raised about a major shortage of childcare in Buckie with parents being forced to take places outside the town.

Moray Council is running an expansion project to deliver a Scottish Government commitment to deliver 1,140 of funded annual hours for all three and four year olds and some two year olds by August.

However, now it has emerged there is a major shortage in the Buckie area with some parents having to be offered places elsewhere or being told to wait.

Childcare shortage comes despite places doubling three years ago

The development comes despite the new Lady Cathcart Nursery opening in 2018 following a £600,000 refurbishment, which doubled the number of spots in the town.

Yesterday Moray Council confirmed it was planning to install temporary accommodation early next year to cope with the demand while a new-build was likely due to housing developments.

Buckie councillor Tim Eagle.

Buckie councillor Tim Eagle revealed he had heard from “tearful” parents who do not have access to a car being told to take their child elsewhere for childcare.

Buckie councillor Sonya Warren added: “There has been a lot of concern from parents not getting their first or second choice and instead getting offers in Fochabers or Cullen – or not getting a place until after the summer.

“We had figures not that long ago saying Lady Cathcart would meet the need. We need to be very careful calculating the number of places we need for nurseries and primary schools.”

Nurseries in Buckie at capacity

A report presented to Moray Council explains nurseries at Millbank and St Peter’s in Buckie and in nearby Portgordon are full.

Meanwhile, the capacity at Lady Cathcart has been reduced from 50 to 42 due to coronavirus restrictions.

Lady Cathcart Nursery in Buckie<br />pic from David Walker

Senior project manager Robin Paterson explained the temporary accommodation would help to reduce pressures in the short-term.

He said: “The temporary unit will be bespoke. It will be fitted out for childcare, it isn’t simply an empty Portakabin.

“It will be fit for purpose and will be high quality.”

Concerns about new Aberlour nursery

Meanwhile, council officers have also suggested using temporary accommodation in Aberlour until a new-build project is complete.

The former library at Speyside High School has been identified as a short-term solution for children in the village and nearby Craigellachie.

Speyside Glenlivet councillor Derek Ross.

However, Speyside Glenlivet councillor Derek Ross has concerns about the suitability of the building.

He said: “The weather gets pretty bad in that area in winter and walking quite a distance from a car park with two or three-year-olds in those conditions is difficult.

“Local people have had a look at it and they have huge concerns about it.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in