40 Years of Busy Bees

Children's minister visits Busy Bees Edinburgh Park

Published: 22/02/2024

Curved shape
Busy Bees

Natalie Don MSP, Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping the Promise, recently visited Busy Bees Edinburgh Park nursery to see how an early years nursery team is delivering high-quality childcare in the city. 

Ms Don was shown around the nursery, at Lochside Place, by Centre Director Sharlene Cran and Busy Bees Scotland Managing Director Yvonne Smillie. During her visit, Ms Don spoke with the nursery staff about their professional learning and development and wellbeing, all matters that align with the Scottish Government’s key Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) priorities.  

After the tour, Ms Don said: “I’ve really enjoyed visiting Busy Bees nursery and seeing how they support every child in their care to thrive, learn and play. 

?“High-quality Early Learning and Childcare can have a really positive impact on children and their families and expanding access is a key commitment for the Scottish Government. I want to thank the staff at Busy Bees for everything they do and for taking the time to talk to me about how we can support a sustainable, diverse and thriving childcare sector.” 

Busy Bees Edinburgh Park caters for 124 local babies, toddlers and pre-school children, offering them a home-from-home environment where they can thrive, learn and play.  

Centre Director Sharlene Cran who has been with Busy Bees for over 20 years, said: “We were thrilled to show the minister around our beautiful nursery and let her see how our highly trained team encourage and support our children in a warm and comfortable homely environment.” 

From its 1983 beginnings in Staffordshire, Busy Bees has become a worldwide success story. The company now cares for almost 70,000 children every day across 10 countries. 

Busy Bees Scotland Managing Director Yvonne Smillie added: “As the top early years provider in Scotland, we were pleased to welcome Ms Don to one of our vibrant nurseries, so she could see for herself how the right environment, resources and dedicated professionals can support children in their vital formative years. 

“We’re all too aware that further support is needed for the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) provision, in particular investing in our nursery staff. It was great to showcase how Busy Bees supports staff through our award-winning training to engage and inspire colleagues as learners and ensure their knowledge is positively impacting the education and care received by children.  

“Last year, we had a staff retention of 78% and this is testament to the commitment and dedication of our nursery team. Ahead of the Health and Care (Staffing) (Scotland) Act coming into place in April 2024, Busy Bees is proud to be placing staff welfare at the forefront of strategic planning and using initiatives to drive positive impact across our valued nursery teams, all of which ensure we can offer children the best start in life.”