Parents and teachers in Tayside and Fife are struggling with a lack of clarity over who is eligible for childcare during lockdown.
The Scottish Government has told local authorities to reorganise schools and nurseries to offer childcare to those key workers who are not able to remain at home.
Fife, Angus, Perth and Kinross and Dundee City councils have set up hub-style systems to ensure a smaller number of schools and nurseries remain open.
Some places have gone unfilled in Angus and Dundee City Council has re-launched its scheme, asking all key workers to apply again for a place in a new system that starts on Monday.
Angus Council’s schools and learning convener Derek Wann said a lower than expected number of children attended hubs in Angus on Thursday.
He said: “It is somewhat frustrating that we have worked hard to find a childcare solution for essential workers who have no other childcare options, only to find that a number of people who applied and were allocated spaces did not send their children as anticipated.
“Please, if you do apply for a place and subsequently don’t need it – let us know straight away, so we can fill that place.”
He said the school hubs in Angus were supported by a range of partner nurseries and childminders to care for younger children.
He said the hubs would now look to offer places to other key workers.
“Our team is now reviewing attendance at the hubs with a view to progressing to the next group of key worker families as swiftly as we can to allow childcare for as many qualifying families as possible.”
A Dundee City Council spokesman pointed to an online update that said the council was “developing new ways of delivering services for key workers and vulnerable children from a much smaller number of school buildings across the city from Monday, March 30.”
One parent, a back office NHS worker, said: “The guidance hasn’t been clear at all. I was told that both parents had to be working on the frontline in the NHS.”
She said she was still waiting to hear if her child was eligible for a place.
A Perth & Kinross Council spokesman said they had opened five Children’s Activity Centres on Thursday “in line with significant demand from Category 1 staff.”
“This is aimed at meeting the needs of families and shift patterns as flexibly as possible and will continue right through the Easter holidays.”
He said all category 1 workers who met the criteria have been given a place for their children.
“We anticipate that demand will grow in line with national guidance on key workers and our offer will expand over the next few weeks.
“The application process remains open online on the council’s website: www.pkc.gov.uk/coronavirus/schools “
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