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New facility for childcare firm retains jobs in Shetland

Published: 21/06/2022

A Shetland childcare business has expanded into new premises after experiencing an increase in demand for its services as parents return to work after having children.

Peerie Foxes was officially opened by Beatrice Wishart MSP on Monday 20 June at its new facility on North Road, Lerwick.

The company secured up to £25,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to help with the fit-out of the larger facility. The project will help to safeguard ten jobs in Lerwick, create more jobs in the future and support more than 100 adults to work, live and study in Shetland.  

The private childcare provider offers day care and occasional creche facilities and is used by families from across Shetland with children under five years old with around 50 children attending on a variety of days and times. 

The business, which opened in Fox Lane in 2007, was bought by Caroline Henderson in 2011. 

Caroline said: “We are incredibly grateful to HIE for its fantastic support and its recognition of the integral part that accessible quality childcare plays in any buoyant economy. From the get-go the organisation shared our vision of how improved these new facilities would be and how the investment will continue to support hard working families now and in the future.”

Katrina Wiseman said: “Peerie Foxes provides an essential service to working parents and carers in Shetland and supports the ongoing viability of other businesses in Shetland. Without adequate childcare, staff would be affected in every sector in Shetland. Not only will this project retain jobs on the island but it will also meet the high demand for more childcare on the island.”

Peerie Foxes is the only setting in Shetland to provide care for children under the age of one, which benefits parents who don’t have access to enhanced maternity pay and conditions and need to return to work before their child reaches its first birthday.

The larger premises is more accessible and allows more places to be offered, while the outdoor area gives the opportunity for outdoor learning, something that was lacking at the previous premises. 

The company currently has a waiting list for places however Caroline is hopeful that the larger premises at North Road will help meet the increased need for childcare in Shetland. 

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