Anger at nursery closure

Parents at the Sure Start Centre, Huthwaite campaigning to save the nursery. l-r Sulaksana Surendraraja with Vibishaan 3, Carrie Hill with Oscar 4, Sarah Wallace with Kacey 3, Felicity Pether with William 3 and right of her, other son, Henry 18mnths and Anna Wilson of Huthwaite Action Group.
Parents at the Sure Start Centre, Huthwaite campaigning to save the nursery. l-r Sulaksana Surendraraja with Vibishaan 3, Carrie Hill with Oscar 4, Sarah Wallace with Kacey 3, Felicity Pether with William 3 and right of her, other son, Henry 18mnths and Anna Wilson of Huthwaite Action Group.

ASHFIELD: Parents anger at nursery closure

The parents of children who attend the pre-school at the Sure Start Centre in the village found out last week that it will be shutting in December.

The shock news has left them angry that they were not told of the plans sooner and worried as to whether their children will be able to get a place at another nursery.

Felicity Pether’s son William (3) only started at the pre-school last month.

“I have never been given an informed choice of what to do,” Felicity (35) said.

“If I had known it was closing I would have gone somewhere else. I would not have allowed him to settle in for three months and then be disrupted.”

There is already a shortage of pre-school places in Huthwaite, with John Davies Primary and Nursery School the only other provider.

The next nearest place with spaces is at Mapplewells Nursery in Sutton, which for those who do not drive is two buses away.

Carrie Hill tried to get her son Oscar (4) a place at John Davies, but sent him to the nursery at the Sure Start centre when it was full.

She even recently turned down a place for him at John Davies which she would not have done if she knew his nursery was going to close.

Carrie (34) fears Oscar will not get a place at another nursery before he starts school in September.

“I will either have to take him to a childminder or do something myself during the day,” she said.

“He is ready for school but will have six months of nothing. It will really disrupt him.”

Parents have organised a meeting on Tuesday at 9.30am at the Sure Start Centre to discuss the situation.

Justine Gibling, early years manager at Nottinghamshire County Council, said that the current provider of the pre-school nurseries at Huthwaite and also Kirkby East Children’s Centres, is pulling out because ‘it is not financially viable for them’.

“We will be holding consultation meetings at both locations very soon for all the families involved to discuss how we can help meet their childcare needs going forwards,” she said.

“We are working hard to identify potential replacement childcare providers for both sites, and are hopeful that this can be achieved.”