Pressure on free nursery places in Kirkcaldy

Pressure on free nursery places
Pressure on free nursery places

Demand is outstripping supply for free child placements in many local authority nurseries across Kirkcaldy, Fife Council has confirmed.

Demand is outstripping supply for free child placements in many local authority nurseries across Kirkcaldy, Fife Council has confirmed.

The squeeze on resources mean there are no guarantees that all applications from within a nursery’s catchment area will be successful.

It also means siblings of different ages could, theoretically, be split into different schools.

Carrie Lindsay, Area Education Officer, said: “There are a number of nurseries which are at capacity and have waiting lists.

“However, at the moment there are 16 free nursery places in Kirkcaldy local authority nurseries, with a further 51 places available with our partner providers.

“These may not be the parents’ first priority but all entitled children will be offered a nursery place.”

To put those numbers into perspective Kirkcaldy West, for example, has a full quota of 60 children per day and it is one of nine local authority nurseries across town.

Even partner providers such as Linktown Playgroup, were, until quite recently, chock-a-block.

The playgroup’s manager and early years lead officer, Kay Douglas, said: “ I have three children here in their pre-school years that cannot get a place in nursery but we have lots more places available.”

Kay advised parents to have a back-up plan ready in the event of being knocked back in their first application.

“By law, Fife Council must offer parents a choice but technically that could mean anywhere in Fife,” she said.

“It’s a difficult situation for parents, who can be told by the local authority it is no longer obligated to provide a free place if they refuse that offer.

“We provide exactly the same curriculum, are fully inspected and, crucially, help children to become sociable, independent and confident before they start school.

“Any parent who would like more information on placements should contact the Early Years Manager on earlyyearsmanager@fife.gov.uk “

Essential info for parents:

For advice about placements and providers visit the early years and education section of website Fife Direct.

Any parent who would like more information on placements should contact Fife Council’s Early Years Manager on earlyyearsmanager@fife.gov.uk

To contact Linktown Playgroup, telephone Kay Douglas on 07933 759670