Milton Keynes Council
United Kingdom

Milton Keynes Council has drawn up plans to close or merge every one of its day nurseries in order to save cash. The proposal, which will affect hundreds of working families, has been discussed by councillors for months. But it only came to light on Tuesday, when each parent was handed a letter stating their child’s nursery was under ‘review’.

Those facing complete closure are Fledglings at Kents Hill, Westcroft nursery, Little Chestnuts at Bletchley and Wolverton day nursery. One of the four, probably Wolverton, could be retained though to cater for “vulnerable families,” states the report.

Meanwhile, there are plans to merge Kingston’s day nursery with the Bridges children’s centre, Playzone with Hedgerows centre on Netherfield and the historic Russell Street nursery in Stony Stratford with Rowans on Fuller Slade. Russell Street parents have already been fighting for weeks to keep their nursery open. But parents with children at the other six nurseries were unaware the budget bombshell was about to drop on them too.

The report states: ‘Recent surveys have shown there is sufficient provision in the private, voluntary and independent sector to meet the current childcare demand.’ Already parents have attacked this statement as “rubbish” and vowed to fight to keep their nurseries open.

These closures could potentially leave hundreds of parents looking for a new nursery for their children and many nursery staff could be left without a job as a result. The savings are minimal in the first year and considering the council has just increased their revenue through parking in the city centre, they should look to other ways of raising more funds if needed instead of hitting working class families with these closures.

We the undersigned call on Milton Keynes Council to re-consider the closure of their nurseries. These nurseries are essential to many working families within the borough who rely heavily on them in order to be able to earn a living.

The fight still goes on for Wolverton Day Nursery. Without nurseries such as Wolverton, many families will have to locate alternative childcare providers which will most likely be further away from their geographic location and therefore more inconvenient. There is also the fact that existing non-council run nurseries will then be overstretched and care will be compromised.

Finally, we need to consider the needs of the children. They are settled with friends and siblings in neighbouring schools as well as their carers. This will cause upheaval to these children which could have secondary effects to those who may be more sensitive.

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The Save Milton Keynes Nurseries petition to Milton Keynes Council was written by Anonymous and is in the category Education at GoPetition.