Saved nursery faces the axe

NILA 23-10-12 BE 8 The pavillion community centre, Cotmanhay.
NILA 23-10-12 BE 8 The pavillion community centre, Cotmanhay.

A childcare facility that parents battled to save from closure only 18 months ago is again facing the axe.

The Pre School Learning Alliance, in Cotmanhay, handed a letter to parents this week outlining plans to close the facility.

Mum-of-two, Fif O’Neill, said: “Where are the children supposed to go?

“We’ve been through this all before and thought the threats of closure were behind us but here we are again.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s the best facility of its kind around and the area can’t afford to lose it.”

The nursery, run by the Pre School Learning Alliance - an educational charity set up to provide flexible and affordable childcare - moved from the Sure Start centre to the Pavillion last time it faced the axe.

Parents told the Advertiser that they may be forced to quit their jobs if the closure went through.

The letter handed out to shocked parents this week stated that the charity is set to make a ‘significant loss’ at the end of the 2013/14 financial year and described the set up as ‘simply not financially sustainable.’

Fif said: “It provides flexible and affordable child care and there are no other places that do that.

“People haven’t got the money to move their children into full time nurseries and many don’t want to use childminders.”

She explained that she was worried that the closure would result in her being forced to unsettle her four-year-old daughter Evie.

“Evie will be going to school in Septemebr so that means she will have to go somehwere else for just a few months which is a big move for her she has been going to PLA since she was nine months old.

“And what about people who have only just started using the facility or those on the waiting list?

“As far as I can tell it’s operating at full capacity.

“It is just such a shame because the staff there are wonderful and they really do give children the best start in life.”

The proposed closure date is April 11.

Sallyann Hilliard, development manager at the PLA, explained: “It is with regret that the Alliance is currently undertaking a consultation with staff, parents and partners, to consider the future of Cotmanhay Childcare.

“In the current economic climate, it has been difficult to manage the setting’s financial sustainability.

“The Pre-school Learning Alliance remains committed to delivering flexible childcare services which best meet the needs of families in the area. “The Alliance will support parents to find alternative childcare, if the closure cannot be avoided.”

Do your children go to the PLA in Cotmanhay? What does the propsed closure mean to you?

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