Key Worker Childcare Hubs

We have established childcare hubs across the Highland Council area to provide a suitable location for children, to ensure key workers can continue to fulfil their vital role. 

The safest place for everyone, including children, is at home and so requesting a key worker place should be a choice of last resort. Places should only be requested when all other possible means of providing childcare while you are at work have been exhausted.

The Scottish Government has issued public health advice about this and expects parents/carers to have explored all other options, such as using partners who are not key workers, using older children to supervise younger children, and seeking changed shift patterns to avoid the need for childcare and so on.

Places available

The number of places we are able to offer in the Highland Council area is limited.

We have prioritised places for those directly involved in addressing the health crisis linked with Covid-19 and others involved in the associated emergency response – classified as Category 1 key workers – and specifically those working in the NHS, community care and care homes, pharmacies and social work.

In geographical areas with lower demand, it may also be possible to offer places to Category 2 and 3 key workers. We are looking to increase capacity over the coming days and weeks in areas where there is higher demand.

Government information on key workers

The Hubs

The hubs are open 8am-6pm term time and during the holiday period.

  • Children aged 0-5 are being placed in nursery settings and the Council is using over 30 private and partner providers across the Highlands for this.
  • Children aged 6-14 are being allocated to childcare hubs, located within schools.
  • Where possible, in the situation where children are from the same family but cross over these age groups, we are trying to place them together at the same location.

If you need to contact us about your application, email KeyWorkershub.south@highland.gov.uk

Hub locations

The following hubs for 6-14 year olds are currently in operation:

  • Aviemore Primary School
  • Auchtertyre Primary School
  • Broadford Primary School
  • Dingwall Academy
  • Inverness Royal Academy
  • Lochaber High School
  • Millburn Academy
  • Miller Academy
  • Nairn Academy
  • Newton Park Primary School
  • Portree High School
  • Stepping Stones, Brora
  • Ullapool High school

New childcare hubs are about to be opened in:

  • Golspie

These hubs are staffed by volunteers drawn from Council and Highlife Highland staff, all of whom have been checked to ensure that they are enrolled in the Protecting Vulnerable Groups scheme (PVG). 

The hubs cannot replicate a school setting. Children are expected to bring in the work and materials that have been allocated to them through their own school and they will be supervised whilst they work through these. Where practical and safe, age appropriate activities will also be arranged. 

Hub capacity

Following Scottish Government guidelines, facilities are only able to operate at 20% capacity. Individual classes are limited to a maximum of 8 children to 1 adult in each room; social distancing has to be employed and each child provided with a designated desk and chair, and each class with dedicated toilet and washing facilities.

Social distancing and health and hygiene practices will be in place – albeit in recognition that with young, energetic, children this will be a challenge to maintain at all times.  

It remains the case that home is the safest place for everyone, including children.

How is this webpage?