Parents were told of the change which will see children will be given certain days based on the first letter of their surname, but it means some parents will be left without out of school care.
Image: Edinburgh Evening News/SWNS)
A school club has told parents that children can only attend on certain days based on their surname – leaving many without childcare on vital days
The move has infuriated parents whose children use an out of school service at Juniper Green Primary School in Edinburgh.
Parents were told of the change in a letter explaining children will be allowed to attend on certain days based on the first letter of their family name.
North Edinburgh Childcare informed parents who have been frustrated by how the issue has been dealt with.
One furious parent told Edinburgh Live: “Parents at Juniper Green Primary have been given three days notice that they will lose their after school club place from Monday with no other option for working parents to find after school care in such a short time.
“Child care is not well paid enough to attract people. Brexit is causing them real issues – they are desperate for staff.”
“What are parents to do? Change their child’s surname to fit in with the random days being offered by alphabet.”
Edinburgh Evening News/SWNS)
Parents have been told that as of May 9, the capacity at Juniper Green after school club has been cut to 30 children between Monday to Thursday, and just 16 children on Fridays.
They cited an issue with recruitment for the sudden change, saying that it is not one they made lightly, and they are looking to offer an alternative for parents.
The letter read: “The childcare sector is facing a recruitment crisis and as you are aware, we are no exception to this.
“Unfortunately, we have not been able to fill the current vacancies at the after school club and we are now facing no other option than to reduce our capacity until we have new staff in place.
“Our regulator the Care Inspectorate requires all childcare providers to meet certain staff: child ratios and we must ensure we are compliant with this and providing high quality care.
“With this in mind, from Monday May 9, we will be reducing our capacity to 30 children Monday-Thursday and 16 children on a Friday.”
Edinburgh Evening News/SWNS)
What came as more of a surprise was the process used to decide which children are able to attend on different days of the week.
It continued: “If your child’s surname begins with letters AG they will be able to attend Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays if they currently have a space on these days.
“If your child’s surname begins with letters HZ they will be able to attend Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays if they currently have a space on these days.
“This plan does mean a small number of families will not have any days we can provide care.
“We have been able to make some adjustments and if your child falls into this category, Emma will be making phone calls throughout today and tomorrow to explain if we can offer an alternative.
“We are aware this will have a significant impact on families and we are so very sorry for this. Our intention is to increase our capacity as new staff members join the team and we will continue to communicate these changes with you.
When we do increase our capacity, your spaces will be reserved from now on so you don’t need to worry about requesting the additional days again.”
North Edinburgh Childcare concluded the letter by saying they are not alone in trying to deal with a staff recruitment issue and added the number of children able to attend certain days will increase again.
Theresa Alisson, general manager at North Edinburgh Childcare added: “The issue here I’m afraid is a sector wide issue, recruitment to the childcare sector is in a critical condition we are not alone in that other childcare providers we know of have also had to take the last resort decision to reduce their numbers and in fact many have either joined up services, reduced numbers or indeed closed.
“We are acutely aware of the serious impact this will have on parents and it is not a decision that has been taken lightly.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.