A DUNFERMLINE mum has branded Fife Council "thoughtless" after leaving her three-year-old daughter without a nursery place next year.

Hannah Dolan has already been going to McLean Primary School's nursery since January, while her two big brothers also attend the school, but she been placed two off the bottom of a waiting list and hasn't even been offered any place at an alternative nursery.

As highlighted in the Press over recent weeks, 385 children have been told they don’t have a place for next term.

Hannah appears to be another little girl in West Fife that will have to be told that she can't go back to her nursery where her friends and teachers are.

Her mum, Ailsa Dolan, said: "To say I am angry is an understatement. There appears to have been absolutely NO common sense or thought behind this process at all.

"Firstly, I can't be in two places at once to drop off my kids.

"But the letter we received about a month ago stated that the increased hours have been delayed and that letters would follow in due course regards to allocation, but that there was a place for EVERY child. Why then, have I received a letter saying my child has nothing. No place ANYWHERE.

"And just to rub salt into the wound, on the reverse of the letter, there is a list of nurseries with places still available and McLean is on the list – if there are places available, why has my child been denied a place and effectively removed from her nursery setting?

"I just can't comprehend it, they have been thoughtless."

In Fife, parents had to go through reapplying for their child's place several months ago due to plans to increase nursery hours.

But in response to COVID-19, the Scottish Government said councils would no longer be obliged legally to offer 1,140 hours of free childcare provision to three- and four-year-olds, and eligible two-year-olds, from August.

Like other parents, Ailsa is therefore puzzled as to why her child's place at nursery is in question.

Fife Council have decided that because some of the new nurseries in West Fife have not been built, some children will go to other nurseries until their allocated choice becomes available and some will be offered the existing 600 hours provision.

"They shouldn't be saying that some nurseries are getting extra hours and others are not," Ailsa said.

"They either do it all together or not at all.

"They don't need to go ahead with the amendment at this moment so they should just leave things as there are.

"I couldn't believe it when we found out she didn't have a place but then to hear that she was 60th out of 62 on a waiting list was just heartbreaking.

"I know that McLean is not alone. I have a friend in Pitreavie in the same predicament as me.

"There's people who've told me that they didn't even want their child to go to McLean or have no connection to it but have been allocated a place.

"Our children are dealing with enough unsettled times just now, to be removed from a safe, nurturing setting for no apparent reason is disgusting."

Fife Council education manager, Jacqueline Price, said: "There is a high level of success in the process that is not being widely reported.

"A total of 5,885 applications for Fife Council places were received from parents and over 90 per cent of applications received have been offered a placement (based on their initial preferences).

"Of those allocated a placement, 85 per cent received their first-choice nursery and session, 9.7 per cent were offered their second choice and 3.1 per cent were offered their third choice. A small minority have not been successful in gaining their preferred choices.

“It’s important to say that the allocation process is not yet complete, as there will be movement across nurseries as parents accept or refuse a place. When the process is complete, we will make sure that we take account of concerns raised to make sure any revisions are put in place for next year.”