SNP Express Shock at Unexpected Closure of Potterton Nursery

>> 15 December 2023

On Wednesday 13th December, families whose children attend Potterton Nursery were informed by Aberdeenshire Council that the setting would not be reopening following a closure for repairs earlier in the year.

Education bosses have chosen to close the setting without any public consultation or community engagement, giving families the options to send children to Balmedie Nursery or encouraged to consider nursery placements in Aberdeen City.

SNP representatives have urged for open consultation and transparency over the reasons for permanent closure of the setting.

In November, families were informed that the setting had to close temporarily due to repairs needed to the heating. Whilst these repairs have been completed, the local authority has now confirmed that they will not reopen the setting as an Early Learning and Childcare setting.

Councillor Jenny Nicol, representing Potterton in the Mid Formartine ward, has been impacted by these closures personally, as one of the families utilising the nursery setting for her own child.

Commenting, Cllr Nicol said:

“Potterton Nursery is an exceptional setting, delivering high standards of learning and care. Families had been offered the opportunity to send their children to Balmedie Nursery earlier in the school year. For these families, we have consistently chosen to have our children at Potterton. because we knew the high levels of care provision and that our children were safe, happy, nurtured and being enabled to develop their capabilities through play based learning and access to the outdoors everyday.

“The families who use these facilities are understandably very upset that a decision has been taken to rip out an essential service from this community and that this decision was taken without any consultation or community engagement is deplorable.”

MSP for Aberdeenshire East, Gillian Martin, added:

“It is hugely disappointing the council have taken the decision to permanently close Potterton Nursery.

“Parents and caregivers have been left in limbo since the facility closed last month unexpectedly and have now been given the surprising news it will close permanently.

“Access to childcare provision locally is a huge asset especially in more rural areas and this decision will have a devastating impact as well as being unsettling for the children who previously attended Potterton Nursery.

“I am also dismayed there has been no consultation process on this matter leaving parents and caregivers completely shut out of any discussion, and I will be writing to Aberdeenshire Council to encourage them to undertake this process.”

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