Sonas Childcare is a registered SCIO set up by a group of volunteer parents on the Isle of Islay in Argyll and Bute who recognised a gap in the market for a day care facility for pre-school children.
There is currently no childcare facility on Islay for children under 3 years old. Provision of a facility of this type for this age group is not a regulatory requirement for Argyll and Bute Council. Sonas was set up to respond to the urgent and important need that exists to establish this service. A dedicated childcare facility will not only provide vital early years setting support to the children growing up on the island, but also provide a service needed for parents to allow them to return to work and support the island’s economy. In addition, given the planned economic growth, it is vital that this service is available to attract new families to Islay.
Sonas Childcare began responding to the gap in provision two years ago with the intention of establishing a facility on Islay. It has worked with Argyll and Bute Early Years Team to seek a viable option for the establishment of a nursery, but unfortunately no suitable building could be found. In 2019 Sonas began working with South Islay Development (SID) a community run development trust and anchor organisation. The organisations have worked in partnership to seek funding and establish a facility in the south of Islay.
SID and Sonas Childcare are very pleased to have been awarded Crown’s Estate Funding to develop the initial stages of this project, working closely with professionals to look at suitable buildings within the community. Sonas Childcare and SID are looking forward to working with the community over the next few months to develop a sustainable option to take forward.