Anger at nursery’s plans to close baby provision

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Families have been left angry after plans to shut down Cranbrook Nursery’s provision for babies were revealed, meaning parents would need to find alternative care for the tots as soon as 16th December.

Parents were informed of the closure via email, sent on behalf of the nursery, on 25th November. The email stated they were considering closing the baby room to focus on restructuring their provision ahead of the introduction of the 30-hour offer next year.

They highlighted that the closure of the baby room could be as soon as 16th December and that a consultation period had now opened.

Kelly Keatley, whose baby attends the nursery, said:

“Obviously this is upsetting and frustrating as they are stating that the possibility is that the last day could be December 16 which gives us very little notice to find an alternative.

“It is supposed to be a consultation process but we wonder what that really means.

“They are making this decision without regard for the implications for working parents now in a position where they could be without childcare for January.”

In an explanation sent to parents, Cranbrook Nursery stated that ‘the changing landscape for nursery provision’ was key in their decision making.

Below, the email in full:                                                                         

I am writing to inform you about a proposed change to our nursery provision.

The landscape for nursery provision is changing. From September 2017, a parent’s entitlement to free nursery education for children from 3 years of age is increasing from 15 to 30 hours per week.

This significant change has required us to review the costs associated with the nursery provision we currently offer. It has been decided that our provision needs to be rebalanced to achieve the aims of both being able to support ’30 hours’ childcare, and to ensure the future financial viability of the nursery.

Following the outcome of this review, a proposal has been made to cease provision for 0-2 year olds by closing the baby room. Provision for 2-3 and 3-4 year olds will then be rebalanced.

There will be a 7 day consultation process starting from today for all affected employees and parents, with the results of the consultation collated and presented to governors for a final decision.

If the decision is taken to cease offering 0-2 provision, then the last date of operation for the baby room will be the 16th December 2016.

We appreciate that this is a difficult message for you to hear and in order to offer support and answer any queries or questions that you may have, there will be a meeting in the Primary School Hall for parents to attend on Monday 28th November at 6.30pm.

You can also raise any queries or ask questions by emailing consultation@cranbrookeducationcampus.org.uk

The setting is part of Cranbrook Education Campus and caters for local children from birth up until the age of 5.

Has your nursery been similarly affected in having to restructure provision ahead of the 30-hour offer? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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4 thoughts on “Anger at nursery’s plans to close baby provision

  • January 12, 2017 at 11:59 am
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    I am a Nursery owner, we closed our provision of baby places 18 months ago, as unless we had all places filled for most of the week, we would make substantive losses per head. It was not something we wanted to do, but it made financial sense.
    Many nurseries are not making reasonable profits, due to chronic and historic government underfunding, so are on a financial knife edge. With costs rising we are fighting for our survival. All I can do is make savings like close our baby room, cancel cleaning contract (staff now clean), freeze Managers pay rate, administer workplace pension myself, re-negotiate utilities, insurances, professional fees (e.g. Accountants etc), down to lowest possible levels, pay myself minimally.

    Government austerity is forcing me to spend so much time concentrating on our bottom line, when the children and raising our standards further should be the priority. The industry is living under a cloud of uncertainty with the change to 30 hours and the new funding rates.

    Reply
  • November 29, 2016 at 8:52 am
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    What is going on in Childcare! If the government want parents to go back to work why is the new 15 hour funding not starting straight after maternity leave. We have and will always take babies as this is the best start for children who have to be in childcare until they go to school as it provides continuity from Birth to school age. As the 30 hours is not sustainable for most nurseries I feel it will be the under 3’s that will provide the money to subsidise the over 3’s not how it should be its looking like it will be one way of help keep nurseries afloat
    The other way forward is to be able to charge parents a top-up payment to make businesses financially secure, most parents would understand and they also get tax free vouchers from employers so are already in a much better positon than a few years ago. If something doesn’t change there will not be enough nurseries to deliver childcare any way. Here’s to a fun 2017.

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  • November 28, 2016 at 1:08 pm
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    Fully sympathise with this nursery. This is a classic example of what we will see in the future. The government are not paying the full cost of a 30 hour place so nurseries have to make savings somewhere. The 30 hours model then has given some of these children double the ‘free’ hours whilst their younger siblings no longer have a nursery place. What are we doing in this country? It is time that all nursery providers just said NO! The government would need to act then. All that needs to be done is to allow the nurseries to ask parents to top-up the government payment to make their businesses financially manageable. Most parents would understand – they should be given a voucher for a set amount that they could use to pay or part pay for the nursery of their choice, assuming of course that the nursery had reached acceptable standards. It’s easy to solve the problem, not rocket science! The main issue is the false promises that the various political parties made in the first place just to win votes!

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  • November 28, 2016 at 12:38 pm
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    There is now very little incentive for Early Years Settings to have, keep or open a baby room. You need more staff per child, more space and it does not bring in enough money. This with the dreaded 30 hours coming into play September 2017 this means nurseries have two options; close the baby room to the meet 30 hours need. Or keep the baby room and force children that potentially already attended as 2 year olds to find alternative care due to not having enough spaces. In either case someone will loose out and seeing as 30 children are funded and babies are not this will be neither the first or last baby room to close.

    Reply

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