Moray Council has confirmed its emergency childcare provision will cease after next week.
The confirmation comes after the announcement by the Scottish Government that the requirement for local authorities to provide emergency childcare hubs ends on 31 July.
A number of private, voluntary and independent (PVI) childcare providers will continue their provision in Moray beyond 31 July and families this may affect are being contacted directly.
Closing emergency childcare hubs at the end of July allows time for the preparation, planning and transition required on the assumption that schools and Early Learning and Childcare settings will re-open on 10 August for staff and 12 August for pupils.
Speaking after the announcement Head of Education at Moray Council, Vivienne Cross, said: “We’re extremely grateful to all hub volunteers who have staffed the emergency childcare hub throughout summer and to the teams behind the scenes who devised our, out of the ordinary, summer programme.
“As we see emergency and key services returning to previous levels we’re confident that winding down our hub provision on 31 July, in-line with Scottish Government guidance, will allow us time to prepare schools used as hubs for the start of term.
“We’re aware that some parents and carers were expecting to have a form of emergency childcare for the final weeks of the summer holidays and we encourage them to make their normal holiday arrangements if possible.”
Childcare hubs have been open in Moray since 30 March as emergency childcare for keyworkers during the height of the covid-19 pandemic. At that time key services were implementing their pandemic response, often leaving parents and carers who worked in those services without daytime childcare.
Moving to phase three of the Scottish Government route map out of lockdown; allowing more contact with other households; the re-opening of other childcare facilities and the expected return full-time to school and early learning and childcare settings in August has contributed to the decision to end provision in Moray.