Parents today told of their fears for affordable childcare if plans to close two council-run nurseries go ahead.
Oh, dear. What a shame. No more subsidies.
Parents at Treetops Children’s Centre in Willesden said they were given eight weeks to come up with a business plan to run the nursery from March – or face paying more than twice as much for private childcare.
Yes, well, there’s no more money. Doesn’t anyone remember that hi-lar-ious jokey note that Liam Byrne left for his hapless successor?
Oh, how I bet you all laughed at that! Not laughing now, are you..?
Brent council said it was consulting on closing the centres because of “huge” government funding cuts. It claimed the nurseries are predicted to make a total loss of more than £250,000 for 2011/12.
In other words, they were never, ever financially viable, but were propped up on the backs of council taxpayers…
Parents in the borough say that many of them, especially single mothers, will be forced to give up jobs and go on to benefits because of a shortage of affordable nursery places.
Isn’t that blackmail? If they did that with a gun and a letter made up on newspaper clippings, they could go to jail for that…
Charlotte Sones, whose one-year-old daughter Margot attends Treetops, is leading a campaign to save the centre. Mrs Sones, a 39-year-old writer and telesales worker from Harlesden, said: “I feel sick to my stomach about it, it’s keeping me awake at night.
“One, because the council have forced a group of parents into the position of having to save a nursery, and two, having the trauma of potentially having to move a child who has been there since she was seven months old.”
I wasn’t aware that it’s the council’s fault that you are a mother who can’t support your child, love? Why not thank your lucky stars for those seven months you’ve already had off the public teat?
Charlotte Schilcher, an event manager from Harlesden, has two children, Alfie, six, and Betsy, one, who have both attended Treetops.
She said: “Parents are really worried and nervous about the future and their children. These are the things that are directly affecting families in this area.”
And paying for them was previously ‘directly affecting’ everyone in the area, via their council tax. I don’t recall any pressure groups starting up then…
Brent council’s head of early years and integrated services, Sue Gates, said: “We can’t afford to carry on as we are now. There’s lots of alternative childcare provision locally so families shouldn’t face any problem finding a suitable place for their child and, if these proposals are agreed, we will help them to make alternative arrangements.”
A bit more polite than ‘Dear chief secretary, I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left..’ but essentially the same message.