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Archive - Monday, 18 July 2005
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Parents told find new nursery by September
A POPULAR nursery school is set to close leaving 80 children with nowhere to go.
The decision to close Little Fishes Day Nursery at The Wycliffe Centre, Horsleys Green, was announced on Wednesday, July 6.
The facilities were originally built for the use of children of students at the linguistics centre.
But in recent times the nursery has also been made available to anyone who wants to use the facility.
As the nursery is subsidised, bosses say they cannot afford to continue to allow children from outside the centre to use the facilities.
Parents have been told that they have until Friday, September 9, before the nursery closes.
Lisa Burrup, from Saxhorn Road, Lane End, who takes her three-year-old daughter to the nursery, thinks it will be difficult to find her daughter a place elsewhere.
She said: "It doesn't give us a lot of time to find 80 places in the local area.
"It's going to be very difficult."
She added: "The parents have clubbed together to see what can be done to keep the facilities open."
The custom-built nursery has been commended for its excellent staff and recently received a glowing Ofsted report.
Cassey Stone, of Wellfield Road, Piddington, is another parent against the move.
She said: "Working parents do not have time to relocate our children at such short notice.
"We don't want to have to take our son out because the nursery is actually really good."
Geoff Knott, chief executive at Wycliffe, said: "In recent years the need for nursery places from our student population has dwindled to the point that the nursery is no longer needed to meet their needs."
Mr Knott confirmed that talks were underway with parents with the view to continuing the nursery off-site.
He said: "Increasingly we have had to subsidise the Little Fishes nursery, a position which we cannot responsibly allow to continue.
"We express our regret at any inconvenience that this will cause.
"We appreciate the trust that parents have shown by allowing us to care for their children."
He added that there were other factors that forced the move.
Mr Knott continued: "The Little Fishes Nursery is run as a part of the registered charity Wycliffe Bible Translators and as such we rely on donations for much of our work. When people give to Wycliffe we need to see that their donations are used for our primary focus of meeting the needs of minority people groups around the world.
Kim Hart, head of the early years and childcare department at Bucks County Council, confirmed that she would be doing everything possible to help the nursery stay open.
She said: "The closure of any nursery concerns us and we will try to help.
"We will be looking at what options we have available."