Labour councillors have raised fears over yet another nursery in financial difficulty, following earlier confirmed closures at The Crescent and Priory Street nearby. St Paul’s Nursery School in Holgate has expressed concerns over its long term financial stability as it emerged it only has a short term Government funding commitment lasting until next year, and Labour have stated that key challenges in the sector are failing to be addressed and that there is a serious risk that nursery places will be inadequate on the west side of the city centre and into Holgate.
Councillor Bob Webb said: “Early years learning improves children’s outcomes later in life, improves their ability to communicate with others and develops social skills too. Children thrive when they have stability and this is especially important in their early years when they are taking their first independent steps in life with time spent away from parents and carers. It’s difficult to overstate the impact a nursery closure has on children and their parents and carers.
“St Paul’s Nursery School has been a fantastic provider of early years education for young children in Holgate and beyond for so long, and its long term funding position must be addressed. I will be writing to the council’s Executive Member for Children and Education to ensure the council is making the case to Government for long term stable funding for St Paul’s Nursery School”.
The funding problem for council-maintained nurseries has been the subject of a national petition to the Government, as those nurseries struggle to plan long term for the children on roll – in St Paul’s case almost 100.
Holgate ward councillor Kallum Taylor knows many parents with children at the nursery who would be affected if the long term funding problem cannot be resolved. He commented: “I’m sure there will be a great deal of anxiety amongst Holgate parents and carers with children at the nursery but I hope the Government will listen to what the petition is telling Ministers about the need for a long term funding solution. There is no justification to have this uncertainty hanging over the nursery simply because it comes under the council rather than being a private provider.
“Not only do parents and carers value the quality of teaching and care provided at St Paul’s, but any need for them to move providers in the future could cause havoc with such limited provision in the area”.