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Fight to keep village childcare facility

Parents in Newstead Village are protesting about the closure of the Pre-School Learning Alliance in the village

Parents in Newstead Village are protesting about the closure of the Pre-School Learning Alliance in the village

Parents have started a campaign to keep a facility in Newstead Village open after its closure was announced.

Newstead Childcare is a well used facility at the heart of the village managed by the Pre-School Learning Alliance.

But the ‘voluntary sector provider of quality affordable childcare and education’ has pulled the rug from families in the area and said they are set to close the operation in April.

“Parents who use the centre just got sent a letter, completely out of the blue, saying it was closing,” said mum of one, Maria Harris. “It is a really well used facility that parents rely on and is a part of the village.”

The Alliance confirmed their plans and said they had started a consultation period with staff and users.

“It is with regret that the Alliance is currently considering the future of Newstead Childcare,” said a spokesman. “In the current economic climate, it has been difficult to manage the setting’s financial sustainability.”

The Tilford Road centre provides care for children from 0-11 years old Monday to Friday, 51 weeks a year, at an affordable price. Although the building is owned by the educational charity, they also rent space to SureStart. A SureStart spokesman moved to reassure parents this week that they were as committed as ever to supporting families in the area.

 “It is proposed that the building premises, wherethe SureStart Children’s Centre is currently based, will close and therefore, the Centre is looking at alternative locations from which to deliver services in the future.”

Users have set up two petitions and have enlisted the help of councillors and the MP.

“Newstead is a run-down area,” added Maria.“It has become a community base and we feel very passionate about keeping it open.”

A fundraiser disco at Newstead Miners’ Welfare on Friday 7th March at 7.30pm has also been planned.

 

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