When the Government announced that schools and nurseries would close from Monday 23 March, they also advised that some will stay open to provide care for a limited number of children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response, and cannot be safely cared for at home.

An Cotan Childcare Centre at Lews Castle College UHI has remained open during the lockdown period providing a much-needed service for many currently at the heartbeat of this response to the virus.

Manager Erica Gearty says: “The children have adapted well to the situation and staff have also got into the routine of half working from home and the other half being in, which we rotate weekly.

"It is still concerning for all but we have strict guidance and protocols in place to minimise risks, we are also being supported by the College, Council and Care Inspectorate with regular contact.“

One of the parents, Gordon Jamieson, said “An Cotan stepped forward at the very outset of this pandemic, and has allowed a number of key workers to carry on, and expand their efforts to keep our community safe.

"Our workers are extremely grateful, and have been able to continue working in the knowledge that our children are in safe and trusted hands.”

An Cotan is still open Monday to Friday.