Issues concerning free entitlement and the government cuts to frontline childcare services are causing many nurseries and their staff significant concern for their future existence.

Many childcare providers and parents refuse to admit defeat against government decisions, joining together to help save their nurseries.

We’ve put together three case-studies of nurseries who decided to fight for their cause. Each have the same purpose of providing quality childcare, but experiencing diverse results.

The Good

Goldsmiths Nursery was due to close in September 2010, however pressure enforced by parents and staff influenced the successful result of remaining open for at least another year.

Classed as ‘unsustainable’, the nursery was met with strong support from parents and staff who argued that the closure would cause serious disruption to child development and a shortfall of childcare in the area.

Parent power

As shown in the video below, nursery officials were confronted by disgruntled parents demanding explanations. One protestor commented that officials ‘have no idea of the market they are dealing with’ however it is they who have the power and control of the nursery, rather than those with the years of experience and knowledge behind them.

Additional routes to campaign included a Facebook page which currently has support from 391 members and a dedicated blog.

The campaign website admits that while they have secured a small victory, their campaign is still very much alive.

The Bad

Bright Start Nursery is facing closure next April after the council deemed the nursery flawed under the current financial backing.

The extinction of the 51-place Brighton setting would see eighteen nursery staff lose their jobs and 73 children potentially without childcare provision.

The council subsidy for the nursery for 2010/11 is £87,000. The council has said it needs to save £7.1 million from the Children and Young People’s Trust budget for 2011/12.

The council’s report said that the nursery building needs ‘a substantial capital investment’ of £230,000, including work on the children’s toilets and the heating.

Parents and staff are campaigning hard to reverse the decision. More than 3,000 people have signed a petition against the closure. This was further supported by a protest march through Brighton at the end of October against the spending cuts in the area.

Liam Sheerin, who has a daughter at the nursery commented “To change her nursery at this stage would be disruptive and upsetting – and for some parents, especially those whose children start school in September, it would be disastrous, as finding an alternative nursery to take their children for just five months is nigh on impossible.”

You can offer your support to their campaign by signing their online petition. Regular updates and calls for support are also published via their campaign blog.

The Ugly

Parents with children at the Poppets Monterssori Day Nursery were met with a shock closure last month.

The Kent-based setting was suddenly shut over the weekend without any warning to parents. Open on the Friday, the 40-place setting was boarded up by the Saturday. Staff received text messages telling them the business had gone into administration.

Shocked parents revealed that no indication was given and some had even paid for childcare services in advance.

Parents have praised the jobs of staff in the setting but are understandably frustrated that the owners gave no warning of the troubles ahead. One staff member described the owner as having ‘lacked any interest in the business other than collecting the money’.

Is your nursery currently facing the prospect of closure? How do you feel about the fact that people with little or even no knowledge/interest in childcare have the significant power? Drop your comments below.

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