Lambeth Council has ordered the closure of Chestnut Nursery with just four weeks' notice.
The nursery is a thriving and essential part of the local community, accessible to and used by a diverse group of families, representing at least 21 nationalities, including key workers and vulnerable children.
The nursery also partners with Leap to ensure that there is still some early years support for Lambeth families following the sustained reduction in children’s centres services over the last two decades.
62 children attend the nursery, and it employs 15 staff, as well as local contractors. It offers 22 x 15 hours assisted places and 13 x 30 hours assisted places, supporting 21 key worker families and three vulnerable children. If the nursery shuts, alternative childcare provision will need to be found for these 62 children at just 15 business day’s notice and 16 staff members will lose their jobs.
This is a real blow when the nursery has valiantly remained open since the end of the first lockdown and provided a safe and stable environment and welcome continuity during difficult times. The staff have been incredibly resilient, brave, and selfless in supporting Corry Drive families over this period. To lose their jobs now is a cruel injustice.
Corry Drive is one of the few affordable childcare providers in the local area. Its closure will place further strain on families during a pandemic which has affected many people’s livelihoods and, as the government has acknowledged, disproportionately impacted those living in deprived areas and in Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups. These represent a significant percentage of the nursery’s children and staff.
In some cases, this sudden loss of affordable childcare could force people to give up work in order to care for their children in the short-term. This impact will likely fall hardest on women, particularly single mothers. It denies their children access to the benefits of early years education and socialisation when it is most needed.
In the longer term, the closure of Chestnut nursery limits the choice available to less affluent families for equivalent childcare both in terms of the quality of care, price, and the flexibility to match work patterns through longer opening hours.
Lambeth Council’s conduct is completely unreasonable and poorly judged. Please share your support by signing this petition.
Started by: Carlos ArdidCandel
This Petition ran from 09/03/2021 to 22/03/2021 and has now finished.
157 people signed this Petition.