Aberdour Playgroup has been forced to close until further notice due to the impact of coronavirus on its finances.

The group, which is run by parents and has been meeting at the community centre on Shore Road, has been part of the village for more than 30 years.

However, after closing in March as part of lockdown measures to control the spread of coronavirus, the playgroup's committee and its management have now decided that, due to restrictions for childcare settings and ongoing uncertainty, it will not re-open in August.

The group said it had spent the last few months "exploring and planning for all eventualities" and had not taken the decision to close “lightly”.

And a letter to parents explained: “Aberdour Playgroup has been part of the community for over 30 years.

“It has touched families in so many ways; children who have been part of our playgroup family, parents who have volunteered countless hours on the committee and supported fundraising, and of course the wider community ever-present at duck races, Hallowe'en parties and ice cream factories to name but a few.

“Therefore, it is with real sadness that we now have to confirm, Aberdour Playgroup is unable to reopen in August 2020 and is ceasing to operate until further notice.

“Please know that this decision has not been taken lightly.

“Playgroup is hugely personal and important to the staff, the voluntary committee and the community.

"And a lot of hours have been spent to avoid this outcome.

“We so much wanted to support our families and welcome your children back in August, and so coming to this, almost inevitable conclusion given the challenging circumstances, has been extremely difficult.”

Scottish Government guidance on early learning and childcare services has placed many challenges on a playgroup setting.

Children are unable to attend multiple early years groups which means those enrolled with a nursery or childminder could not attend.

These restrictions would significantly reduce the number of children enrolling with Aberdour Playgroup and, as a result, it would not be able to meet its operational costs.

Although the closure is not permanent, and they're hopeful it can return at some stage, the committee agreed that the long-term future of the playgroup is uncertain.

However, they have promised to work with Fife Council and Early Years Scotland while consulting with families and the wider community before any further decisions are taken.

An Extraordinary General Meeting is to take place in the near future.

The spokesperson added: “Our sincere hope is that we avoid permanent closure and will be in a position to plan for opening again in the future.

“We would like to give a special mention to the team, some of whom have been at the heart of playgroup for more than 10 years.

“As parents and as a committee, we are so very grateful to them for their dedication to our children and for making playgroup the special place we all know and love.

"We know many families will echo this.”