ANOTHER MSP has criticised Fife Council's nursery allocations "failure" and said they've left some parents with "logistical nightmares".

Last week, Labour politician Alex Rowley called for a review of the whole system and now the SNP's Annabelle Ewing has written to the local authority's education chief, Carrie Lindsay.

The Cowdenbeath MSP said: "It really does seem to me that there has been a failure to take proper account of the full picture of a family’s needs in assessing these placing allocations which need to be better grounded in the reality of the way in which people live their lives.

"I have sought, over many months, to make the case for returners to be allowed to remain at their current nursery.

"This would be the equitable approach, would meet parents’ legitimate expectations and would be in keeping with the GIRFEC approach – Getting it Right For Every Child."

She said angry mums and dads had complained to her about the nursery allocations, which has left 385 children without a place.

Other parents have been told their child cannot return to the nursery they were attending and must now go elsewhere.

Ms Ewing said: "Some children, having made friends and developed relationships with staff, are being told to go to a new nursery where they know no-one.

"For the parents, this can mean logistical nightmares getting children to a new nursery that might be some miles away.

"In some cases, grandparents who walked to and from the nursery to collect a child will now need to take public transport there and back; for others, arrangements with professional childminders may no longer be possible.

"There are cases where a child has been attending a nursery in the local primary school attended by older siblings but has now been allocated to a new nursery some miles away – the difficulties that could cause are obvious."

In a statement last week, the council said: "Places are allocated entirely at random within the system.

"It’s the only way we can be entirely fair when we have far more applications for a nursery than we have places.

"In some areas, unfortunately, all the nurseries are over-subscribed in this way, which is why some children have not managed to get a place at all.

"In this case we can help parents to find another funded childcare provider in the area."

Ms Ewing has asked Ms Lindsay for "further clarity on the decision-making process" and what the options are for parents unhappy with the council's decision.

The council statement announced parents and carers were being given additional time – until yesterday (Wednesday) – to accept or decline the nursery place offered to their child after admitting that "some letters to parents did not get sent or have been delayed".

They said they also "extended the deadline because we are aware some people had not yet had a response to their emails".

It continued: "Please bear with us, the team are working flat-out to get you a response."

The council said they received 5,885 applications and more than 5,500 children were offered a place, adding: "Of those 5,500 places, 85 per cent were first choice and 9.7 per cent second choice."

It added: "We understand that some parents may not be happy with the offer they’ve received.

"Sadly, it’s not possible to give everyone exactly what they want but more capacity may become available, across our settings, once we know what offers are accepted."

Parents with questions about nursery placements can email