Save Sheffield nursery petition plea

Parents present a petition against the closure of The Meadows nursery in Shirecliffe at the town hall.'The children's centre is not affected.
Parents present a petition against the closure of The Meadows nursery in Shirecliffe at the town hall.'The children's centre is not affected.
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Hundreds of people have signed a petition against the closure of a Sheffield nursery.

More than 400 names were added to the document in just two days, calling for The Meadows nursery in Shirecliffe to stay open.

Parents present a petition against the closure of The Meadows nursery in Shirecliffe at the town hall.'The children's centre is not affected.

Parents present a petition against the closure of The Meadows nursery in Shirecliffe at the town hall.'The children's centre is not affected.

Parents presented the petition at Sheffield Town Hall yesterday, after learning the nursery will shut in September.

Mum Louise Mackereth said: “We are not going to lose this nursery without a fight.”

Dad Mark Humphries, who started the petition, said: “People have been really shocked to learn it could go, especially with it being a special needs site.”

And mum Emma Brumhead, whose two-year-old daughter Kaydence attends the nursery, said: “I was outraged to find out it was closing when we were told it wouldn’t be.”

The children’s centre where the nursery is based, on Shirecliffe Road, is not affected by the closure.

Charity Action for Children, which provides the nursery, said it is unable to continue running the facility after Sheffield Council withdrew funding.

Efforts to find an alternative provider since have fallen through.

The council is working with around 90 parents to find new nursery places.

Authority chiefs said councils had not been required to fund childcare since 2011, and a £3.5 million Government cut to its early years budget was behind the withdrawal of funding.

The contract with Action for Children was to provide family support, children’s centre services and helping the most vulnerable families - not childcare.

Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, said: “We have always been clear that because of the £3.5m cut – while doing all we can to protect services to families and children - we could not promise these would be in the same place or with the same provider.”