Following East Dunbartonshire Council’s decision to tender for nursery places from private and voluntary sector providers with a view to reducing these partnership places, Jo met the Council’s Head of Education to discuss the decision’s impact on parents and future nursery provision.
Information about the allocation of partnership places to nurseries will be revealed in 2 weeks’ time.
Commenting, Jo said:
“During our meeting I expressed the concerns of parents and nursery staff about nursery provision, namely the potential disruption to parents’ childcare arrangements and to nursery staffing decisions if their chosen nursery does not receive adequate allocation of places. These changes are being made because Council nurseries are currently undersubscribed. Rather than making savings by reducing places at partnership nurseries, the Council should look at the reasons why more parents are not choosing Council-run nurseries and address them, for example by offering wrap-around care and places for younger children as well as 3-4 year olds.
“Considering also that an increase in future demand for nursery places is likely, due to new homes in Woodilee and possibly at Lower Kilmardinny, a long-term strategic review is absolutely key. It was reassuring that in the meeting East Dunbartonshire Council recognised this need, and I look forward to seeing the development of this strategic review.
“Many parents will be keenly awaiting the outcome of the tendering process in 2 weeks, and I hope that East Dunbartonshire Council will give due consideration to the long-term future of any partnership nurseries affected by this decision.”