A nursery could be set to shut – in a move that would be “devastating” for families looking for childcare in York.
Priory Street Nursery, off Micklegate, has been looking after York babies and children up to the age of five for more than 30 years.
But its board of trustees say the pre-school may be forced to close because of a change in government policy.
In a letter to parents, the chair said that a lack of funding to support the government’s rollout of 30 hours of free childcare in 2017 put the nursery in financial difficulties.
The letter said:
This was a great idea and it should have been a big success.
Unfortunately, however, the income we receive doesn’t cover our costs and the nursery has run at a loss in the last couple of years.
He said the board has had to take “difficult decisions” and a consultation will run until the end of the year – but that it looks likely that the pre-school will have to close and that there will be redundancies.
He praised the nursery’s “dedicated” employees, adding: “Our staff have looked after hundreds of lovely children with warmth and dedication – we’re proud of each and every one.”
Micklegate councillor Jonny Crawshaw said he is troubled by the news.
He added that there are many young families in South Bank and a desperate need for nursery places, saying:
This potential closure comes on the back of the recent application to convert The Crescent Day Nursery into flats.
That was a blow but when coupled with this news about Priory Street it is absolutely devastating for families in the area.
We desperately need more good quality, affordable childcare in the ward, not fewer.
At the root of the problem, it would seem, is a lack of government funding to back up their offer of 30 hours’ free childcare. As with so many basic services, unless they are properly supported they cannot be sustained and ultimately, everyone loses out.
The nursery looks after 27 children and has six employees.