24 Apr 2019, Meredith Jones Russell
Kingston University has announced plans to close its 24-place nursery this summer.
The university will run a 45-day consultation process with parents and staff before announcing a final decision in May.
A Kingston University spokesperson said, ‘The university is currently considering proposals to permanently close its nursery from the end of the summer term in mid-July.
‘As part of this process, it has launched a 45-day consultation. Staff, students and trade union representatives are welcome to provide feedback on the proposals during this period.
‘Following consideration of any feedback received, the University expects to announce its final decision in late May. Members of staff and families currently using the service will be kept fully informed of the outcome.
‘The nursery will continue to operate for the rest of this academic year. Parents can rest assured their children will continue to receive the same level of high quality care they are used to throughout this time.
‘In light of the proposals, the university will not be running a summer play scheme this year and will not be accepting any new bookings for childcare places.’
The university has offered to cover the difference between the cost of a place in its nursery and one in an equivalent local setting for student parents.
A spokesperson added, ‘Eligible student parents can benefit from childcare grants from Student Finance England. Staff parents already have access to childcare vouchers and the government’s tax-free childcare scheme, which can be used with alternative childcare providers.
‘Should any student parents with a child currently in the nursery experience financial difficulty because of the change, the university will make funding available to cover the difference between the cost of a place in the nursery and a place in an equivalent local childcare setting, up to the same number of sessions per week.
‘There are a number of alternative childcare providers in the surrounding area. The university will do all it can to support staff and student parents to find a suitable place for their child.’
Tops to open nursery
Meanwhile a new nursery and forest school is set to open at Lancing College in West Sussex.
Little Lancing will offer places for 60 children 52 weeks a year on the edge of the independent school estate from the autumn term.
Tops Day Nurseries will co-manage the setting, with founder Cheryl Hadland acting as consultant on the project.
Tops will hire and line manage the nursery manager and provide all policies and procedures, before working to adapt and develop them alongside the new manager in line with the needs of Lancing College and the local community.
The college will share some of its facilities with the nursery, including a farm, swimming pool and large grounds.