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  >  FAQ

Who can register for a place at Willow Tree Nursery?

Willow tree nursery is open for registrations for children aged 6 months to 3 years.  Children can attend until they become eligible for a government funded Early Learning and Childcare place (the term after the child turns three) which is offered in local authority nurseries throughout Orkney.

Families can register for the provision up to one year before they intend to start using it.

How many spaces do you have?

We are registered to accommodate twelve children aged 6 months to 2 years and twenty children aged 2-3 at any one time. As many places will be part time, the number of children on the overall roll is likely to be much greater than 32 at any one time.

How do I register my child for a place at the Nursery?

Please complete  the Willow Tree registration form which can accessed here.  

What are the patterns of attendance?

We offer both full and part time places.  Parents can request a part time place based on a combination of these session times:

Mornings with lunch from 0800-1300 (5 hours)

Afternoons from 1300-1730 (4.5 hours)

How much does the provision cost?

All places cost £6.00 per hour.  This includes snacks and drinks.

Are meals provided?

A hot lunch can be provided at a cost of £2.40 per day.  These should be ordered when you drop your child off in the morning. Parents can also provide a packed lunch from home if they prefer.

What help can I get with childcare costs?

The Government offers a variety of ways to support childcare costs and they have a website that allows you to see what might work best for your family: Help with childcare costs Scotland.  Please do go and have a look and work out what is best for you. 

Do you accept childcare vouchers and Tax Free childcare?

Yes, we will be registered to accept Tax Free childcare payments.  Please discuss childcare vouchers with a member of the nursery team.

When is the nursery open?

The nursery is open all year round but will close for public holidays through the year and on Christmas Eve. For the 2021-2022 year, the closure days would be:

  • Monday 5th April
  • Monday 3rd May
  • Thursday 12th August
  • Friday 24th December – Tuesday 4th January (inclusive)

Do I pay for my place if I do not use it?

In addition to the public holiday closure dates, all families will be entitled to a 20 day holiday allowance.  These days can be taken at any time, with advanced notice to the setting and they will not be charged for.  Any days over and above this where the child does not attend, will be charged to retain the space.  Sick days are charged at the normal rate but parents are encouraged to discuss any ongoing sickness with the Manager.

Can I book a different pattern of attendance each week?

We do not offer places with a mixed pattern of attendance.  We ask parents to book sessions that stay the same each week.  Ad-hoc sessions can be booked with the setting over and above your allocated space, but these cannot be guaranteed every week.

What do I do if I want to change my pattern of attendance?

If you would like to alter your space (fewer sessions, swap days etc.) this should be noted to the manager in writing no less than four weeks before the proposed change.  If you have a part time space and would like to increase hours this can also be requested but may be subject to the waiting list.

Can you offer last minute childcare?

If the setting has capacity, any remaining sessions can be offered to existing families on an ad-hoc basis.  These will be charged at the normal rate, but they are not guaranteed and may not be available every week.

Will my child have a key worker?

Our practitioners will work in key worker pairs.  Your family will be allocated to a key worker team, and they will be your first point of contact in the setting.  They will get to know you and your child and be a familiar face for you all.  The staff will work a shift pattern where there will always usually be one of them on the premises at all times and there to speak to you when you drop off and collect your child.

What does my child need to bring with them?

Children should bring a bag with:

  • At least one full change of clothes 
  • Any nappies and personal care supplies they are likely to need during the day
  • Lunch in a sealed, labelled box or bag if they are not having a hot meal
  • Outdoor clothing including a full set of waterproofs, welly boots, hat and gloves. In warmer weather we ask that you dress your child in light clothing that covers them up and a protective sun hat.