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Education / Peerie Foxes open new and larger child care facilities

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart opening the new Peerie Foxes premises on Monday. Photo: Peerie Foxes

PRIVATE childcare business Peerie Foxes has opened new premises in the refurbished former Salvation Army building on North Road in Lerwick.

The company secured up to £25,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help with the fit-out of the larger facility.

The new premises were officially opened by Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart on Monday.

The childcare business, owned by Caroline Henderson, expanded after experiencing an increase in demand for its services as parents return to work after having children.

The childcare provider offers day care and occasional creche facilities and is used by families from across Shetland with children under five years old, with around 50 children attending on a variety of days and times.

The business, which opened in Fox Lane in 2007, was bought by Henderson in 2011.

The project will help to safeguard ten jobs in Lerwick, create more employment in the future and support more than 100 adults to work, live and study in Shetland.

Henderson said: “We are incredibly grateful to HIE for its fantastic support and its recognition of the integral part that accessible quality childcare plays in any buoyant economy.

“From the get-go the organisation shared our vision of how improved these new facilities would be and how the investment will continue to support hard working families now and in the future.”

Shetland area manager Katrina Wiseman said: “Peerie Foxes provides an essential service to working parents and carers in Shetland and supports the ongoing viability of other businesses in Shetland.

“Without adequate childcare, staff would be affected in every sector in Shetland. Not only will this project retain jobs on the island, but it will also meet the high demand for more childcare on the island.”

Peerie Foxes is the only setting in Shetland to provide care for children under the age of one, which benefits parents who do not have access to enhanced maternity pay and conditions and need to return to work before their child reaches its first birthday.

The company currently has a waiting list for places however Caroline is hopeful that the larger premises at North Road will help meet the increased need for childcare in Shetland.

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