Shetland Family Information Service   Shetland Family Information Service



Early Years Groups child playing

Pre-School Education

Out of School Care

Childminding Services

Additional Support Needs

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 Under 5s
Meets in Baltasound Hall Wednesday 1.30 – 3.30 and Friday 9.15 - 11.15


Peerie Breeks
Mid Yell
Meets in Old School, in Mid Yell Tuesday and Thursday 10.00 – 12.00


Whalsay Pre-school Play
Meets in Symbister Public Hall
Symbister Monday and Thursday: 10.00 – 11.55

Whalsay Mother and Toddler Group
Meets in Symbister Public Hall
Symbister Wednesday 10.30 – 11.30


Bressay Under 5s
Meets in Bressay Public Hall Wednesday 2.00 – 3.30


Foula Parenting Club

North Mainland

Brae Parent and Toddler Group
Meets in Brae Youth Centre Thursday: 9.30 – 11.30  £1.50 per family

Muckle Roegues Parent and Toddler Group
Meets in Muckle Roe Hall  Monday 1.00 – 3.00

Northmavine Under 5s Playgroup
Meets in Urafirth School on Monday:  9.30 - 11.30
and in Ollaberry School on Thursday:  1.15 – 3.15

Mossbank Under 5s Group
Meets in Mossbank Hall Wednesday: 1.00 – 3.00

Voe Parent and Toddler Group
Meets in Voe Public Hall / Olnafirth Primary Tuesday 9.30 - 11.30 £1.50 per family

Vidlin Under 5s
Meets in Lunnasting Public Hall Wednesday (term-times): 12.00 till 2.00
£3 per family with lunch included

West Mainland

Aith & Bixter Parent & Toddler Group
Meets in Aith Public Hall Tuesday: 9.15 – 11.15 Winter, 10 - 11.30 summer

Sandness Parent & Toddler Group
Meets in Sandness School Wednesday:  2.00 – 3.15

Skeld Under 5s
Meets in Skeld School Wednesday:  11.00 – 12.45

Aith Baby Group
Meets in Aith Leisure Centre Friday:  9.30 – 11.30
(contact Bruce Family Centre 01595 745400) 

Walls and District Toddler Group
Meets in Walls Public Hall Tuesday: 11.30 - 1.30

Central Mainland

Tingwall Under 5s
Meets in Tingwall Hall Wednesday 10.00 – 12.00

Whitedale Under 5s
Meets in Whiteness and Weisdale Hall Monday: 10.00 – 12.00

Nesting Under 5s
Meets in Nesting School on Monday afternoons 1.30 – 3.00

Scalloway Toddler Group for (0 to 3 year olds)
Meets in Scalloway Public Hall and Trondra Hall
Wednesday and Friday: 10.00 – 12.00

Burra Mothers & Toddlers Group
Meets in Hamnavoe Public Hall Monday:  10.00 – 12.00 £1.50 per family


Clickimin Creche
Meets in Clickimin Centre
Pre-booking required, parents have to stay in the Centre, whilst using the crèche.

Earlybirds Parent & Toddler Group
Meets in St. Magnus Church Hall Monday and Thursday:  10.00 – 12.00 £2 per family

Kiddy Klub Parent & Toddler Group
Meets in Methodist Church School Room Thursday:  10.00 – 12.00

Peerie Jewels
Meets in Sandveien Neighbourhood Centre Tuesday 1.30 – 3.00

Peerie Stars
Meets in Baptist Church Quoys Road Sound Lerwick
Meets Monday and Friday 10.00 – 11.30  £1.50 per family

Staney Hill Parent & Toddler Group
Meets in Staney Hill Hall Wednesday and Friday: 10.00 – 11.30  £1

South Mainland

Gulberwick Parent & Toddler Group
Meets in Gulberwick Hall Friday: 10.00 – 11.30

Kinder Quarff Parent & Toddler Group
Meets in Old School, Quarff Monday and Wednesday: 10.00 -11.30

Cunningsburgh Under 5s
Meets in Cunningsburgh School Friday: 9.30 – 11.30  £1 per family

South Mainland Kindergym
Meets in Carnegie Hall Sandwick
Provides a session of soft play and physical activity Friday: 9.30 – 11.30
£2 a session + £1 for any additional children

Sandwick Under 5s
Meets in Sandwick Youth and Community Centre Tuesday and Thursday: 9.30 – 11.30

Bigton Toddler Group
Meets in Bigton Hall
Monday: 10.00 – 11.30
Wednesday: 1.30 – 3.00

Virkie Toddlers
Meets in Bruce Memorial Hall Virkie. Tuesday: 10.00 – 11.30

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: 01595743845 or 01595743848

Partner Providers:

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

Scalloway Pre-school Ltd.
01595 880770
Monday-Friday: 0900 - 1210

Burra Pre-school 
01595 859451 
Monday-Friday: 0920 - 1230

Lerwick Pre-School
01595 695925
Monday-Friday 0845 - 1300

SIC Nurseries:  

Baltasound Nursery:     01595 807020     Mon-Fri, 0900-1210

Mid Yell Nursery:         01595 745050     Mon-Fri, 0915-1225

Fetlar Nursery:            01595 807072     Days & times to be arranged

Urafirth Nursery:         01595 807460     Mon-Fri, 0915-1225

Mossbank Nursery:      01595 807280     Mon-Fri, 0900-1210

Lunnasting Nursery:    01595 745690     Mon-Fri, 0915-1225

Skerries Nursery:         01595 745470     Days & times to be arranged (currently mothballed)

Brae Nursery:              01595 745601     Mon-Fri, 0845-1155 & 1240-1550

Whalsay Nursery:         01595 743800     Mon-Fri, 0845-1155 & 1235-1545

Aith Nursery:               01595 807400     Mon-Fri, 0845-1155 & 1245-1555

Happyhansel Nursery:   01595 807458     Mon-Fri, 0900-1210

Whiteness Early Years:  01595 745380     Mon-Fri, 0845-1155 & 1235-1545

Skeld Nursery:              01595 807480     Mon-Tue & Fri, 0920-1230 & Wed-Thu, 1205-1515

Isles Haven Nursery:      01595 745398     Mon-Fri, 0850-1715

Sound Nursery:             01595 744982     Mon-Fri, 0840-1150 & 1240-1550

Bell’s Brae Nursery:        01595 743720     Mon-Fri, 0845-1155 (x2) extended 1155-1240

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, 0830-1140 & 1240-1550

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

all based in Mossbank Primary School
Breakfast Club: 7.30 –9.15
Daycare:  ‘Bright Sparks’: 8.30 – 6.00
Out of School Club: 3.15 – 6.00 01595 807279


‘Hame Fae Hame’
Main Street Scalloway.
01595 881146
8.00 a.m. till 5.30 p.m.
Provides Daycare and Out of School Care


Central Private Nursery and Out of School Care
01950 431203 8.30 a.m. till 5.30 p.m.


Peerie Foxes
Fox Lane Lerwick
01595 692961 or Freephone 0808 1236937 8.30 a.m. till 5.30 p.m.


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

Provides after school care term time 3:00pm - 5:30pm and daycare during school holidays 8:30am - 5:30pm for 4* - 14 year olds (*during summer holidays if starting school after summer)

Childminding Services

To ensure that you access up to date information, please use the Shetland Islands Council list of childminders or contact Eileen Mair / Anita Gaffney, Family Support Worker at the Bruce Family Centre 01595 745404 / 745400

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 Autism Group

Providing support, information, and practical help and a meeting place for families, carers and professionals involved with people on the Autistic Spectrum, and anyone with an interest in the Autistic Spectrum. Meetings are held once a month at the Bruce Family Centre, Lerwick.
Contact: 01595 880408

Crossroads Children’s Services

Well trained staff offer respite to the parent/carer, giving peace of mind to enjoy a well earned break.  The objective is to relieve stress in families caring for those with additional support needs.
Contact: 01595 743931 - 3932

Disability Shetland

To support the efforts of disabled people to realise their full potential in all areas of life.
Contact: 01595 7439000

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. We can support families to have holidays together or separately.
Contact:  01595 745242

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

Vision Shetland

This service offers support to blind and partially sighted people in Shetland and is situated at the Old Library Centre in Lerwick.  Run jointly by Vision Shetland and the library, this service helps blind and partially sighted people to access print and information and use access technology: phones/computers etc.
Contact: 01595 743868

Moving On

Moving On is a Shetland based charity with over a decade’s experience in offering support to people with health problems, disabilities, mental health problems or any other barrier, to gain and maintain employment.
Contact: 01595 743926

Updates and amendments to information should be notified to  


| Logo : The Scottish Government | | Logo : Leader Plus | Logo : Project part financed by the european union| Logo : Voluntary Action Shetland| Logo : Shetland Charitable Trust|