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Busy Bees Dunfermline welcomes MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville

Published: 2 March

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Busy Bees Castle View on Carnegie Campus welcomed Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP on Monday 21 February for an outdoor tour of the nursery, giving her the chance to observe exemplary practice within Scotland’s pre-school education system.  

The special guest was shown around the nursery’s facilities by Centre Director, Karen Layden, Marg Randles OBE, who co-founded Busy Bees Nurseries in 1984, and Yvonne Smillie, Managing Director of Busy Bees Scotland.    During her visit, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, who was also appointed as Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills last year, spent time with the children in the forest area whilst they built dens and balanced on their rope bridges. Shirley-Anne also saw the children’s outdoor bothy, an engaging space to support the children’s learning, come rain or shine, which was also officially opened by Shirley-Anne in 2020 when the pandemic first began.

Time outside within the gardens was followed by a group discussion about the challenges faced within the early years sector, and commentary on how well the sector has coped with the ongoing changes to the education landscape demonstrating the tenacity of the sector.   Following her visit to Busy Bees Castle View, Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, said: “It’s important that we ensure every child in Scotland receives the best start in life, and it was excellent to see how the Busy Bees team do that at this nursery.   “It was extremely beneficial to gain a better insight into the outstanding care and education provided for young children and learn about some of the difficulties faced by educators, especially during the pandemic. It will certainly help us to improve and implement solutions for early years education moving forward. I am looking forward to having an indoor tour of the nursery in the near future and seeing all the wonderful activities that the children take part in.”

Busy Bees Castle View is a Centre of Excellence and is one of the top 20 nurseries in Scotland according to Day Nurseries. Karen Layden, Centre Director at Busy Bees Castle View, added: “It was a huge honour to welcome back Shirley-Anne and share with her some of the exciting activities we offer for children. The children remembered Shirley-Anne from when she officially opened our outdoor bothy, and it was lovely to welcome her back again as since her last visit, we have been inspected by the Care Inspectorate and are proud to have retained our Very Good gradings.”

Visit our Busy Bees Castle View nursery page to find out more.