Dunnet Play Group Intending To Stay
In Business and Move To Crossroads School
With recent threats perceived by a number of nursery and play groups
in Caithness the Dunnet Play Group is now posting some information
regarding their current set up and future aspirations.
We as parents feel it is unfair
to close Dunnet Playgroup as it is a well run, excellent facility for
our children, who are happy and settled there. We are not prepared to
move them to a different centre several miles away where they will be
mixing with children they will not go to school with, while some of
the children they will start school with will be at a different centre
We have a child at our group
with special needs, this child has settled well and made excellent
progress. His parents are distraught at the prospect of closure as he
would not be able to cope with a large group and would instead have to
attend the Ceyac centre in Wick with extra costs for the Highland
council for taxis and an escort, while he would not be able to bond
with his peers going to Crossroads School.
A centre 7/8 miles away doesn't
sound too bad until you add up the weekly miles, 15 to put them in the
morning, 15 back home (surely parents are not expected to spend all
morning in a car park with smaller children in the car). A total of
150 miles a week! Some parents say they will have to keep their
children at home as they cannot afford to travel large distances or
have no transport.
As a voluntary committee run
group we have been trying to improve our facilities over the last year
by relocating to Crossroads School so that the children will have
exclusive use of their building, an outdoor play area, ICT facilities
and onsite links with the teachers and the school environment. We have
raised £17000 through grant aid and fundraising and are only waiting
for plans and a lease from the council to take the project forward.
We have 7 children registered
for the new term in August, another 2 when we are on site at
Crossroads, and another 3 enrolled for starting after Christmas. These
children will use the centre as their only facility as it will be
based at their primary school, unlike our present situation where
children split their sessions between two centres. Castletown Nursery
is at capacity already and Canisbay is relatively full, if extra
sessions have to be arranged to accommodate the children from Dunnet,
surely extra costs will be incurred!
The important numbers is the
children coming forward in the next two to three years, not the past.
We have researched our numbers of children wanting places at our group
for the next three years and these stand at 11 to 12 a year. We are
very concerned about the knock on effect to our local primary school,
Crossroads. Will you close our school next ?
The Scottish Executive lead us
to believe they want to extend free pre-school education, which should
be available to every child.
By closing our playgroup, the Council are disrupting our lives,
causing unnecessary problems. We are real people with families, who
have daily routines. We are not statistics. Please consider us as
individuals and reconsider your decision to close our playgroup.
Dunnet Play Group Inspection Report 1 June 2005 from HM Inspectors Of