Family Information

Being a parent can be the most challenging and rewarding task anyone will undertake. Access to good quality information about services, activities and sources of support can make a big difference and help you to make informed choices for you and for your family. This Directory has been compiled by organisations in Shetland, who are working to support the well being of families in these islands. It is hoped that families and those working with parents, carers and children will all benefit from this source of information.

This information was correct at the time of editing, if you find inaccuracies, or have suggestions for additional information, which would be useful to include, please contact Shetland Pre-School Play Association:


Shetland Islands Council’s vision for childcare, is ‘to sustain and where necessary grow the number of childcare places’. There are a number of different forms of childcare, which can be used by parents and carers depending on their individual needs and circumstances. Formal childcare is where an individual, agency or service is paid by a parent or carer to look after their child; this includes childminders, daycare nurseries, out of school care and extended sessions at preschool provision. These services are registered and regulated by the Care Inspectorate and are subject to regular inspections to ensure minimum standards of care are being provided. Informal childcare includes care offered by extended family or friends for which no financial reward is offered.

Babysitting is an occasional activity, normally taking place in the child’s own home, for which a small financial reward is often made.

Home-based care is childcare, which takes place in the child’s own home and can be delivered by nannies or au pairs.

Parents may be able to get support with the cost of childcare through Tax Credits or the use of Childcare Vouchers, which can be made available through the Employer. Further information is given in the Work and Finance section of this booklet.

Most parents will use a number of different types of childcare to meet their needs and will access various types of care as their child grows. Shetland Islands Council’s Family Information Service provides details of options available and is updated regularly.

Further Information will also be found at The following list of options is believed to be correct.

Early Years Groups

Parent and Toddler Groups, and non-commissioned Playgroups are run by voluntary committees and usually will have a rota of parents taking responsibility for setting-up, snacks, activities, etc. The fees charged vary from group to group. (where no contact number is included with group name, information can be obtained from Shetland Pre-school Play – 01595 743916 or 743918).

  • Unst

    Unst Under 5s - Baltasound. Meets in Baltasound Hall Friday 0910 – 1030

  • Yell

    Peerie Breeks, Mid Yell. Meets in Mid Yell Hall Friday 0930 – 1130

  • Whalsay

    Whalsay Pre-school Play Meets in Symbister Public Hall, Symbister. Monday and Thursday 1000 – 1155

    Whalsay Mother and Toddler Group Meets in Symbister Public Hall, Symbister. Wednesday 1030 – 1130

  • Bressay

    Bressay Under 5s Meets in the former Bressay School. Tuesday 1030 – 1230

  • North Mainland

    Brae Parent and Toddler Group Meets in Brae Youth Centre Thursday: 0930 – 1130

    Peerie Stars Toddler Group run by Disability Shetland Meets in Brae Youth Centre 1300-1430

    Northmavine Under 5s Playgroup Meets in North Roe primary school Thursday 1330 – 1500

    Mossbank Under 5s Group Meets in Mossbank Hall Wednesday: 1300– 1130

    Voe Parent and Toddler Group Meets in Voe Public Hall 0930 - 1130

    Vidlin Under 5s Meets in Lunnasting Public Hall alternates between Wednesday and Thursday (term-time): 1330 – 1500

  • West Mainland

    Aith & Bixter Parent & Toddler Group Meets in Aith Public Hall Tuesday and last Friday of every month meet in Bixter Public Hall: 0930 - 1130

    Skeld Under 5s Meets in Skeld School Friday: 1200 – 1400

    Walls and District Toddler Group Meets in Walls Public Hall Tuesday: 1200 – 1400 Central Mainland

  • Central Mainland

    Tingwall Under 5s Meets in Tingwall Hall Wednesday 09.45 – 11.45

    Whitedale Under 5s Meets in Whiteness and Weisdale Hall Monday: 1000 – 1200

    Scalloway Hall Toddler Group Meets in Scalloway Public Hall Friday: 1000 – 1200

    Burra Mothers & Toddlers Group Meets in Hamnavoe Public Hall Monday: 1000 – 1200

    Mainly Music Burra Playgroup Baptist Church Burra Thursday 1330 – 1500

  • Lerwick

    Clickimin CrecheMeets in Clickimin Centre Pre-booking required, parents have to stay in the Centre whilst using the crèche. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and is from 1000 – 1155

    Earlybirds Parent & Toddler Group Meets in St. Magnus Church Hall Monday and Thursday: 1000 – 1130

    Peerie Jewels Meets in Sandveien Neighbourhood Centre Tuesday (term-time) 1330 – 1500

    Peerie Stars Meets in Baptist Church Quoys Road Sound LerwickMeets Mondays 1000 – 1130

    Staney Hill Parent & Toddler Group Meets in Staney Hill Hall Friday (term-time) 13.20 – 1445

  • South Mainland

    Gulberwick Parent & Toddler Group Meets in Gulberwick Hall Monday: 1000 – 1130

    Cunningsburgh Under 5s Meets in Cunningsburgh School Friday: 0930 – 1130

Pre-School Education

To provide a free place for 3 and 4 year olds, Shetland Islands Council operates 22 nursery classes and works in partnership with 6 commissioned groups or “partner providers”. The nursery classes are all attached to Schools throughout Shetland and the partner providers can be found in Lerwick and in rural areas.

Each provider offers the funded session for 2.5 hours per day, 5 days per week, 38 weeks per year. Some nursery classes run two of these sessions each day. Parents pay for the use of the extended sessions offered by Bells Brae School in Lerwick, 2 partner providers in Lerwick and one in Scalloway.

Blydehaven in Lerwick runs full daycare for 3 and 4 year olds.

Mossbank Nursery provides full daycare for children from 2 years old.

Pre-school registration

Parents and Carers can register their pre-school children for a place, for the following school session, in the provider of choice during Registration Week, held in February each year. Completion of this form does not guarantee a place at the preferred centre.

Registering for a Pre-school Place

Further information on any of the Pre-school Education Providers, or on registering for a place is available from: Shetland Islands Council Children’s Services Hayfield House LERWICK Contact: 01595744000

Partner Providers:

Little Tikes Pre-school
01595 840700
Monday-Friday 0840 - 1150 & 1200 - 1510

Scalloway Pre-school Ltd.
01595 881 141
Monday-Friday: 0900 - 1210

Burra Pre-school
01595 859451
Monday-Friday: 0830 - 1500

Lerwick Pre-School
01595 695925
Monday-Friday 0845 - 1425

SIC Nurseries:

Baltasound Nursery

01595 807020

Mon-Fri 0900 - 1210

Mid Yell Nursery

01595 745050

Mon-Fri 0900 - 1210

Fetlar Nursery

Contact Children’s Services

Schools 01595 744000

(currently mothballed)

Urafirth Nursery

01595 807460

Mon-Fri 0800 - 1600

Mossbank Nursery

01595 807280

Mon-Fri 0900-1210

Lunnasting Nursery

01595 745690

Mon-Fri 0915-1225

Skerries Nursery

Contact Children’s Services

Schools 01595 744000

(currently mothballed)

Brae Nursery

01595 745601

Mon-Fri 0830 - 1630

Whalsay Nursery

01595 743800

Mon-Fri 0845-1155 & 1235-1545

Aith Nursery

01595 807400

Mon-Fri 0845-1155 & 1235-1545

Happyhansel Nursery

01595 807458

Mon-Fri 0815-1615

Whiteness Early Years

01595 745380

Mon-Fri 0845-1155 & 1235-1545

Skeld Nursery

01595 807480

Mon-Tue & Fri 0920-1230

Isles Haven Nursery

01595 745398

Mon-Fri 0850-1700

Sound Nursery

01595 744982

Mon-Fri 0830-1630 (slots are booked within these times)

Bell’s Brae Nursery

01595 743720

Mon-Fri 0845-1240

Scalloway Early Years

01595 743777

Mon-Fri, 0830-1140 & 1230-1540

Cunningsburgh Nursery

01595 807250

Mon-Thu, 0900-1220 & Fri, 0900-1130

Sandwick Nursery

01595 745320

Mon-Fri, 0830-1140 & 1230-1540

Dunrossness Nursery

01595 745440

Mon-Fri, 0815 - 1615

Fair Isle Nursery

01595 760254

Mon-Fri, 1150 - 1500

Foula Nursery

01595 745026

Days & times to be arranged

Out of School Care & Daycare Services


Mossbank Childcare Services

Breakfast Club - 8:00 to 9:15 (3 years to 14 years)

Daycare - 0900 – 5:00 (for 2 year olds)

Daycare - 0800 – 5:00 (for 3 – 4 year olds. Most will have funded placements in Nursery)

Kidzone Out Of School Club - 3:15 – 5:15 (3 years – 14 years)

Duration of Service – 50 weeks per year. Two weeks Christmas Shutdown

01595 807280


‘Hame Fae Hame’
Main Street Scalloway.
01595 881146
0800 till 1800
Provides Daycare and Out of School Care


Peerie Foxes
Fox Lane Lerwick
01595 696696

Islesburgh out of School Care Service
Islesburgh Complex
King Harald Street
01595 745115

Provides after school care term time 1500 to 1730 and daycare during school holidays 0830 - 1730pm for 4* - 14 year olds (*during summer holidays if starting school after summer). They offer a variety of activities and a range of resources for different types of play. All staff are qualified, trained and registered with the SSSC (Scottish Social Services Council).

Childminding Services

For a list of childminders and for access to up to date information please contact Shetland Preschool Play on 01595743916 or email

Additional Support Needs

Children may require additional support or services for a variety of reasons and at different times in their lives. Families benefit from the support and guidance of others when meeting the needs of their children. Within Shetland a range of provision exists for children with additional support needs and their families.

Shetland Care Attendant Scheme

Shetland Care Attendant Scheme (SCAS) is an independent charity which provides respite relief to carers throughout Shetland. Trained Care Attendants are employed to give carers a break in their own homes. This enables them to have some quality time to call their own, to use as they wish.
Telephone: 01595 743931 or email:

Disability Shetland Holiday Club

Disability Shetland’s Holiday Club is for children and young people with a disability or additional support needs. The children who attend will be involved in a programme of activities which aims to provide fun and enjoyment, an opportunity to learn new personal and social skills and the chance to share experiences with other children and young people. The Holiday Club will offer a programme of recreational, educational and social activities for six weeks a year, during the school holidays, for 3 and 4 year olds. The Holiday Club hours are 10am to 3pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, one week at Easter, 4 in summer and 1 in October and we can offer half or full days for children.
Contact: 01595 743900

Mind Your Head

Mind Your Head has been established to promote mental health positively throughout Shetland. We do this by organising events such as our fun run, delivering education projects and providing resources to improve access to information and self-help.
Contact: 01595 745035

Short Breaks

Provides flexible packages of support to children and young people with complex additional support needs, according to assessed need. This support is intended to give parents and carers a break from their caring role and give children and young people a positive experience. Breaks may be in one of two specialist centres in Lerwick, in the family home or in a community setting.
Contact: 01595 745240

Shetland Pre-School Play

The additional support needs toy library is open to under-fives groups and parents and carers of children with additional support needs. The library contains a wealth of toys and equipment, which can be taken out on loan. There is a small annual fee.
Contact: 01595 743917/3918

Moving On

Moving On is a Shetland based charity that has been supporting people with barriers to employment since 1997. We currently support young people between 14 and 26 to develop their confidence, skills and work experience to meet their employment related goals.
Contact: 01595 743 926

National Information

Start 4 Life

Is a website which has information and trusted NHS help and advice during pregnancy, birth and parenthood

NHS Inform

Is Scotland's national health information service helping the people in Scotland to make informed decisions about their own health and the health of others. There is also some useful information about immunisation on their website to allow you to protect your child against serious diseases.

Updates and amendments to information should be notified to