STRESSED out early years staff say they have been left ‘in limbo’ over their jobs after council chiefs refused to confirm whether they would have a position after the summer.

Dozens of Early Years Practitioners have been told to clear out their stuff on the last day of term as they have not yet been told, if they will still have a job at the start of next term.

Some staff have lashed out at North Ayrshire Council’s education chiefs for “making a mess” of the Extended Hours programme which has saw staff who have worked in nurseries for years being told today that they might not have a job.

North Ayrshire schools and nursery stop today (Friday, June 28) for the summer break, but countless nursery supply, temporary and long-serving staff are leaving without knowing if they even have a job to go back to.

One staff member who asked not to be named, said NAC were “disgraceful” for leaving people not knowing if they can even pay their bills.

She said: “North Ayrshire Council have made such a mess of this whole situation and they are treating us all like numbers on a piece of paper. They are disgraceful. We are human beings with lives and mortgages and bills to pay. I literally do not know if I will be in a position to pay my mortgage after the summer holidays because they have not told us if we will still have jobs.

“It is such a worry. I have worked at my nursery for a while now and I have made bonds with the other staff and with the children. It is unsettling for them if they are going back after a long break to strange faces and obviously it is upsetting for people like me who are just left in limbo.

Another worker told the Times even NAC staff who up-skilled through their “Career Changer” programme - where existing staff within the council were given the opportunity to train as an Early Years Practitioner with a guaranteed job at the end of their course – are not immune to the “farcical” structure.

She said: “Even those who left secure jobs with the council to up-skill, with the promise of a better career, have been told they don’t know what their situation will be after the summer. It is an absolute farce. The whole thing is going to explode.”

Council chiefs apologised for the “uncertainty” and said they were trying to sort placements out.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “We can only apologise for any uncertainty amongst staff. We are doing everything possible to minimise the impact on them. The delay in finalising staffing levels has come as a result of the recent negotiations with trade unions which will see us implement a whole new work pattern from the start of the new school year. We will be able to confirm full details with staff soon.

“Permanent staff will continue to be paid as per their existing terms and conditions and those staff who have been part of our Career Changer programme will be offered permanent posts as Early Years Practitioners subject to the successful completion of their qualifications

“Temporary staff often have to move establishments at this time in preparation for the new academic year. Information about new opportunities within our service will be discussed with them in due course. This may include opportunities in our early years classes and centres that are open during the forthcoming summer recess.”