Latest update: 20 October 2020

The Yard has begun the process of gradually re-opening our sites to members under the new guidelines to keep us all safe. We are sharing regular updates with our members, including details of how to request session bookings, by email. If your child is a member, but you have not been receiving our emails, please contact [email protected]. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

The Yard reopening FAQ

Following the latest guidance for schools on COVID-19, The Yard services and sites were temporarily closed on Friday 20th March. The well-being of our families and team is always our top priority, and we took this step on the official advice that it is the safest way to protect our children and families. We continue to monitor the situation and follow the latest advice as it is issued.

More recently, we began offering play sessions for our existing members at The Yard Edinburgh during weekends and school holidays. Soon we will be able to reopen our sites in Dundee and Fife in line with guidance. We keep our members up-to-date by email when anything significant changes. You can email [email protected] or call 0131 476 4506 during office hours.

Temporary support

We are one of a number of organisations supporting the City of Edinburgh Council to reach very small groups of children and families in the city in person. This is in response to the Scottish Government's commitment to continue to continue to offer in-person support for the most vulnerable. The local authority determines who can access this service and when, with a maximum of five children or young people accessing two-hour morning and afternoon sessions at The Yard Edinburgh during the week. We advise you to contact your social work department directly if you have concerns about your family’s support during this time.

Keeping our community safe

We are of course implementing even more rigorous health and safety, cleaning and hygiene procedures to protect our families and team. We continue to follow the latest government and Health Protection Scotland guidance, and we will not be supporting any families who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Learn more about the details of what we are doing to keep everyone on-site as safe as possible.

The Yard membership

The Yard is a charity and we rely on our members’ fees to enable us to provide a consistent and high quality service. Due to the current situation, we have decided to press pause on our membership price increases, which were due to take effect from 23rd March 2020. This means our regular monthly membership fee remains at £5 per month for now. Continuing with our membership scheme is part of the robust plan we have put in place to ensure our services can continue long into the future. We greatly appreciate your support on this. In the case that you are unable to continue making your membership payments, we have a programme of membership assistance available for anyone who is struggling financially.

We have over 500 members who are being offered access to our play sessions through a randomised booking system to ensure fairness. We are not currently able to open our services to new members due to the restrictions on numbers. If you would like to be added to our mailing list to be notified when we are open to new members again, please get in touch.

Digital sessions and content

We have created a place to share all our online video content, including early years music and movement sessions, play ideas you can try at home, signed stories and songs, and relaxation sessions with our wellbeing consultant, Jen Wood. These videos are available for everyone so please share the link with families you know. 

You can also follow us on social media to keep up-to-date with the latest news from The Yard.

The Yard on Facebook

The Yard on Instagram

The Yard on Twitter

Supporting The Yard

If you are in a position to make a donation to The Yard in this time of financial uncertainty facing charities, we greatly appreciate your support. The best way to do this is to make a one-off donation or set up a regular gift on our website. This helps us in two ways – we will know it is a donation rather than membership, and we can claim an additional 25% in Gift Aid at no extra cost to you. Your support enables us to plan for a sustainable future by putting in place reliable and regular income streams to support our vital services. Our team is also working hard to secure this through our other income and funding sources. Thank you.