Sheffield nursery is set to close

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A Sheffield community nursery could close after efforts to keep provision on the same site fell through, The Star understands.

It had been hoped Beck Primary School would take over the running of the nursery, which is located on Bellhouse Road, when its NHS contract finishes at the end of term.

But the transfer has fallen through and The Star has been told that the nursery is expected to close in the next few weeks.

Sheffield Council said it was working with parents to find alternative local places for children ‘as a matter of urgency’.

A statement added: “Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and the council have been working hard in partnership over the last few weeks to try to secure an alternative agreement for the service.

“It was hoped Beck Primary School, which is next to the nursery, could take over running it, but unfortunately this has now fallen through.

“Council officers are now working with parents to find alternative local places for their children, including at the local First Start Children’s Centre.”

Since 2011 there has been no requirement from the Government for councils to fund childcare.

The council is making £6.8m of cuts to children’s services this financial year - around half of which stem from the Government no longer giving money to councils to provide nurseries. Instead education chiefs fund all nurseries directly, based on enrolment.

Coun Jackie Drayton, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “I would like to reassure parents that we are working with the NHS which runs this nursery to minimise the impact on the children and families who currently receive childcare there.”