A lack of nursery places in York could mean parents struggle to go back to work – according to mums who have children at a pre-school that may be set to close.
The board of trustees at Priory Street Nursery, off Micklegate, said the pre-school might be forced to shut.
They said the government’s new policy of offering 30 hours of free childcare has put them in financial difficulty.
Parents have spoken out about the closure plans – saying they are devastated.
And they raised concerns about having to move their children to different nurseries at such a young age – as well as fears about a shortage of pre-school places in the city.
Parent Emily Kalies said:
I have known the staff for six years – they take care of my kids every day. It’s devastating.
I think it will be very challenging to find different childcare because most of the other nurseries in town have waiting lists.
York is not a cheap place to live and you have to work to bring up your kids.
I know lots of people who can only get a nursery place for half a day a week – you have to manage going back to work around when you can get childcare provision. The entire system is overstretched.
Julia Oliver, who has a young daughter at the nursery, said the closure is “heartbreaking” for staff and “very worrying” for parents. She added:
We are still hopeful that the nursery can be saved.
It’s a nightmare because there’s hardly any nurseries around here.
I don’t know if I will be able to go back to work now because I don’t know if we will be able to find another nursery place. There is obviously a need for more childcare in the city.
And parent Becky Wilson praised the staff – saying the closure will have an impact on the entire community.
She said: “The setting is more than just a nursery to every, single one of us.
I, for one, have received support I could never repay. Priory street staff have provided essential support to my family when we have gone through very tough times including the support needed to get us through the exhausting SEN assessments and difficulties for one of my children.
This nursery is his safe place and the thought of not having that anymore creates so much distress and confusion.
In a statement David Harbourne, chair of York CVS, said: “Our trustees know the level of dedication that staff show and how much the nursery means to parents and children alike. This has been a very difficult decision to make.”
A consultation on the plans will run until January.