Coventry & Warwickshire

Parents protest over Coventry nurseries plan

Parents have staged a protest outside Coventry's council house over plans to end full-time nursery care at 10 sites.

Reducing such services at the Sure Start centres to part-time for children over the age of two would save the council £1m a year, the authority said.

Councillors were being recommended to consult on the plans.

Protest organiser Samantha Lyle said the authority could see from Facebook and other action that people were "serious" about the issue.

Ms Lyle, from Chapelfields, who has a 15-month-old son at a centre, said: "We don't want to bring up our boy in a nursery where only the rich children get to go.

High running costs

"We are passionate about Coventry city and we really want to bring up all our children in a way that is inclusive.

"Nursery provision like this allows that to happen."

Councillor Lynnette Kelly, cabinet member for education, said the council knew the cost of running its nurseries was "much higher than other providers" and it needed "to tackle this".

She said: "By providing part-time rather than full-time care, we can keep all our nurseries, continue to provide quality childcare and work closely with those families who sometimes need an extra bit of help and support.

"The council currently provides 7% of all the childcare places available across the city, and from our work we know that there are other childcare providers who currently have vacant places.

"If cabinet agree, we'll be asking people about the proposed change and this will be brought back to councillors for a decision about implementation later in the year."

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