Parents help to ensure Sheffield nursery’s survival

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Parents have helped a nursery bounce back after funding cuts threatened it with closure.

Around 40 toddlers were faced with nowhere to go when it was announced Little Green House in Gresley Road, Low Edges, would shut mid-term following Sheffield Council’s withdrawal of subsidy.

Charity Barnardo’s, which part funds the venue, said it could not afford to keep it open, blaming low numbers.

But mums and dads refused to give up their fight and Barnardo’s found additional funding.

They also formed a group of volunteers dedicated to fundraising for the nursery, which is set to ensure its survival in the future.

And as a testament to how much it is needed in the community, Little Green House is full and has a waiting list.

Mother Jenny Hyatt, whose two-year-old twin boys Vinnie and Liam attend the nursery, said: “They said we didn’t have enough children and we’ve got a waiting list.

“It has managed to stay open and all of the parents and staff are delighted.

“Barnardo’s found funding to pay the wages of the staff and upkeep and our committee and volunteers raise money for the extras, or any equipment we might need.

“We organise coffee mornings and sales.

“It offers really affordable childcare which is important for a lot of families in the area.”

The nursery was one of a large number which looked poised to shut its doors after the council suffered a £6.8 million cut to the city’s Early Intervention Grant from central government - including £3.5 million from early years provision.

City bosses removed subsidies at 20 nurseries and transformed 36 children’s centres into 17 hubs in a ‘restructure’ of services.

Jenny, aged 30, said: “It was really worrying for a lot of parents when we thought it would have to close.

She added: “We wanted to share our success story and show that other nurseries can do it too.”