The free public crèche at the Scottish Parliament will re-open its doors to children today.
Glasgow-based company Kelly Care Limited has been appointed to take over the running of the facility, just over one month after the previous contractor, Kidcare, went into liquidation forcing the Parliament to close its crèche temporarily.
Kelly Care Limited has offered re-employment to all remaining crèche staff who previously worked at the Parliament for Kidcare, on the same terms and conditions.
The new contractors will be able to start taking advance bookings from today on 0131 348 6192.
Presiding Officer, George Reid said:
"Following Kidcare’s closure, our over-riding commitment has been to get a viable, long-term replacement in place as quickly as possible. Parliament staff have been working extremely hard behind the scenes and I am delighted that the crèche will re-open today.”
Nora Radcliffe MSP, Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body member and chair of the Parliament’s Crèche Advisory Group said:
"This is Europe’s only parliamentary crèche for public visitors and it plays an important role in making the parliament open and accessible. Re-opening the crèche will help to ensure that parents can give evidence to committees, watch parliamentary business or meet with their elected representatives.”
Charlotte Kelly, Director of Kelly Care, said:
"The Scottish Parliament is the only legislature in Europe offering free public crèche facilities for visitors. From our point of view, this is an important and prestigious service and one which Kelly Care is proud to have the opportunity to provide.”
Kelly Care Ltd trades as Kirktonholme Nurseries and has been in operation for approximately 14 years. The company has eight nurseries registered with the Care Commission in Scotland, is a member of the National Day Nurseries Association of Scotland, and an Investor in People.
The crèche first opened on 7 September 2004 to provide care for up to 10 children at any one time between 08:00 and 18:00 Monday to Friday. It caters for children aged between six weeks and five years.
Figures released in October 2006 showed that 76 per cent of all users of the Holyrood crèche over the preceding six months were members of the public enjoying free access to the facility. The remainder were Holyrood passholders who can make use of the crèche on a drop-in basis, but are required to pay a commercial rate of £3 per hour.
The crèche was operated by Kidcare Ltd until it went into liquidation on 5 December 2006.