Northampton College has announced plans to shut down its nursery service at Badby Road West, prompting anger from parents.
The move, which is currently out on consultation, could see the current full daycare provided to staff, students and local residents from the ‘Tertiary Tots’ centre disappear in July, with the loss of 10 jobs. The cuts could potentially affect up to 200 children who take part in breakfast and after-school clubs.
If this facility closes many people will struggle to find their children new places to go.Sarah Hicken, parent.
Sarah Hicken, whose son goes to the nursery said: “This nursery is a important facility and my son loves it there. If this facility closes many people will struggle to find their children new places to go.
“I am lucky in the fact that my son will start school in September so he would avoid the change. But I am devastated that my youngest son will not be able to attend.
Another parent, who did not wish to be named, said: “As a full time working parent I rely on the service offered for childcare both before and after school. When the plans for a new college were proposed I believe the agreement was it was to be built ‘like for like’.
“Now it appears that this is not the case and the childcare service is threatened with closure. This is a service that is in demand, has a lot of parents utilising this service, and is one for which we pay; it is not a free service and it is totally unacceptable that for the sake of cost cutting that a much-needed service is under threat.”
Earlier this year the college revealed ambitious plans to redevelop its Daventry campus to provide state of the art facilities and create up to 130 homes on the site. However, principal Pat Brennan-Barrett stressed the closure of the nursery was not linked with the potential development of the college site and that the proposals were part of a “standard process” to deliver best value for the funding it receives.
She said: “The college regrets that this move is under consideration but the reduction in our income has left me with no alternative but to consider all the options available to make cost reductions.
“If the decision is made to discontinue nursery services at Daventry, the college will do everything it can to help students and other customers to find alternative childcare provision. Once again, I regret any inconvenience that this may cause and would like to assure both students and customers that the college will do everything it can to help them in the event that a decision is made to proceed with this course of action.”