A Dundee mum is “gutted” she is not allowed to attend her daughter’s nursery graduation due to Covid restrictions.
Carol Knight had hoped to support her four-year-old daughter, Leah, by attending the ceremony to mark her final days at Camperdown Nursery.
However new government enforced restrictions now mean that she – and parents across Scotland – are not allowed to attend any event to celebrate the end of term.
Carol, 37, of Liff Street, Charleston, said: “I am upset.
“They’re about to have the Euro 2020 where 12,000 fans will get together, play areas are reopening, distilleries are reopening, beer gardens in pubs where people sit back-to-back.
“I don’t go to pubs and I don’t go to football matches, all I care about is my children’s happiness and education and I’m not allowed to be there to support them.”
Carol says she feels her daughter has missed most of her nursery experience due to the pandemic, receiving around eight months of nursery instead of two years, because of lockdowns.
While she appreciates that many other parents are in the same situation and acknowledges “no one is to blame” for lockdown, Carol says she can’t help feeling upset.
She said: “It’s the last thing before she goes to school, it’s a milestone and we wanted to share it with her.
“We’ve been looking forward to it for ages.
“They’ve said they will do a recording and I am grateful that I will be able to see it, but watching it on my phone just isn’t the same as being there.”
Families had previously been informed that one parent per household could attend, but that changed at the start of the month when government advice changed.
It’s a milestone and we wanted to share it with her.”
A Dundee City Council spokesman, speaking on behalf of the school, confirmed that the ceremony would be shared with parents, who will also receive a photograph and certificate.
He said: “Our nurseries are following Scottish Government guidance which advises that adult visits to early years settings should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
“We understand that the changes to traditional end of term events that this means will be disappointing for families, but we hope that they will understand that these measures to avoid visits have been put in place with the safety of children as a priority.
“Our nurseries are making their own arrangements to share these events with families through a variety of ways including electronic means and photographs and will be speaking to parents and carers directly about these.”
A national issue
Backlash to the decision has occurred across the country, with many parents and nursery workers taking to social media to voice their opinions.
However the Scottish Government has defended the ban on parents attending such events.
A spokeswoman said: “We know these ceremonies are important to many parents and carers.
We know moving from nursery to school is a big step and it’s important that these transitions are acknowledged and celebrated with our children.
This year, we’ll need to do that while remembering the COVID guidance that’s in place to keep staff and children safe at nursery. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/CbVD1iqs7j
— ScotGov Childcare (@ELCScotGov) June 7, 2021
“However, our Covid-19 safety guidance seeks to minimise the number of contacts that children and staff have in ELC settings by, for example, limiting adult visitors to those that are strictly necessary.
“This guidance is developed in consultation with public health experts on the advisory sub-group on education and children’s issues and in Public Health Scotland.
“We have heard that many ELC settings have found creative ways of celebrating, without groups of parents attending.”