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'Parents will suffer as college shuts nursery'
A YOUNG mother fears she will be left in the lurch and forced to quit further education after Kidderminster College announced it would be closing its nursery.
The college has blamed a lack of funding for its decision to shut the nursery at the end of the summer term, leaving the jobs of six part-time workers in doubt.
The nursery was set up as a service to students but the college said the demand for nursery places had fallen to a “very low level” in recent years.
It added it would assist students with getting nursery places in Wyre Forest.
Mother-of-one Hayley Gledhill told The Shuttle, however, she would have to give up the second year of her hairdressing course in September, without the nursery.
The 20-year-old, who relies on public transport, said all the other Wyre Forest nurseries were too far from the college for her to send her two-and-a half-year-old son Alfie.
“If it closes it’s going to be a struggle for me to get to college for 9am as well as dropping my little boy off,” said Miss Gledhill, of Stourport.
“I think it’s ridiculous to close it. They don’t take into consideration the parents it’s going to affect. I want to go back [to college] in September but if the nursery closes I don’t think I’m going to be able to.
“My education is going to suffer. If I can’t go back in September, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
The college said it had undertaken a full consultation with the nursery staff and parents and had considered all the available options, adding it was “no longer economically viable for the college to continue providing such a large subsidy to keep the nursery open”.
College principal Andy Dobson said: “Redundancy is a last resort and we will be looking at redeployment [of staff] at other possible avenues to avoid this.
“We are determined to make sure this decision does not prevent anyone who needs childcare from studying at the college and will continue to make funding available to those who need it.”
People concerned that the closure would affect them should contact learner services at the college on 01562 512003 for advice.