Parents are campaigning to save Warwickshire College’s nursery at its Leamington site after an announcement that it will close at the end of the summer term.
The college sent a letter to parents on Wednesday which said: “This has not been an easy decision but with the increasing competition form more than 20 other nurseries in the local area and the considerable investment required to upgrade the nursery building and facilities the college has taken the decision not to continue offering the provision in the future.”
The college will hold an event in April to help parents to find alternative child care provision before the nursery is closed at the end of July.
But in response a group of parents have launched a petition to try to get the college to reconsider its decision.
Hayley Willoughby, whose children attend the nursery, has also written a letter to the college.
She said: “My initial reaction to the letter was upset and disbelief on the basis that both of my children attend this nursery regularly, mourning the loss of fantastic child care services and solid relationships held between children and the staff that work there.
“We, the parents, feel that this is the wrong decision to make, not only for the staff and children who attend, but for the college, its students and the services the nursery provides which will be lost if you close.”
Miss Willoughby had said that the nursery, which received a good rating in its last Ofsted report, is one of only a few in the area which provides term-time only contracts for students who need childcare provision for their children while they attend courses.
And she also asked the college to take staff, who would lose their jobs, into consideration.
Nicola Perrett, director of student services at Warwickshire College Group, said: “This has not been an easy decision at all.
“We are very aware of the impact this will have on both the staff and the children who would have continued at the nursery in September.
“It is regrettably a reflection of the changes to public sector funding and the reality that we must focus on our core business and we cannot justify the very considerable cost that would be needed to bring the nursery facilities up to the required standards.
“This decision in no way reflects the quality of provision provided, which was judged by Ofsted to be ‘Good’ when last inspected.”
“We will be providing information about alternative childcare provision to parents who use the nursery and will continue to provide advice and financial support to the limited number of students who use the nursery, which they can use to secure alternative childcare provision.”
The petition is online at www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-warwickshire-college-nursery