Appeal for local nursery places

Siobhan Macfeate with Khloe & Kayleigh Morris with Kara outside Lasswade Nursery
Siobhan Macfeate with Khloe & Kayleigh Morris with Kara outside Lasswade Nursery

A group of Bonnyrigg mums are calling for nurseries to have the same catchment areas as schools after struggling to secure local placements.

Speaking at the latest Bonnyrigg and Lasswade Community Council meeting, local mum Kayleigh Morris raised the issue after she struggled to get her daughter into Lasswade Nursery, despite living within the adjoining school’s catchment area.

She said: “We have a huge issue in Bonnyrigg with traffic. The amount of cars that come into the nursery in the morning, it’s potentially 200 cars coming to drop off children there. Aren’t we trying to cut down on traffic here? I think this adds to that problem.

“So we are going to start a petition to Midlothian Council (at change.org) to make nurseries have the same catchments as the primary schools.

“There is more than ample space at Lasswade. But when I actually phoned round nurseries to see where I could put my daughter there was only space at Newtongrange and Gorebridge.

“I was told that at least half the letters Lasswade sent out were to different towns. People should really be sticking to their own towns.

“The way the system currently works, if your child is born after April you haven’t got much chance of getting them in. That’s not fair.”

A Midlothian Council spokeswoman said: “Policy guidelines are quite clear that there are no catchment areas in relation to nursery places and this is in line with national policy. In 2011 Midlothian Council raised the issue of catchment areas with COSLA but this was not supported nationally. The Scottish Government made it clear when implementing the change to 600 hours of free early learning and childcare that flexibility was expected in provision. Not having catchment areas increases that flexibility.”

Sign the petition here