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Put our little ones first, keep these nurseries

07 February, 2020

Parents at the Gospel Oak nursery appeal for it to be saved from closure

• PLEASE keep our council nurseries going for future generations in Camden, (Campaign begins to save council-run nurseries facing the axe, January 17).

I went to the nursery in Lismore Circus nearly 50 years ago. My grand-daughter goes there now.

The role of nurseries is to be part of the community to provide a safe space so children can play, rest, do “toddlers’ work”, baby yoga etc. Carers can study, go to hospital appointments, care for family members, shop for food, cook, sleep, work…

For the children there are structured routines and varied playing activities, special educational needs and disability provision away from the pressure, including financial, of a busy primary school.

Council nurseries in Camden overall have better Ofsted reports and a safer ratio of qualified adults to children (one adult to eight children maximum). On top of this children are coupled with a key worker, which is an excellent transition for little ones from home.

Unlike school nurseries council nurseries are open in school holidays providing continuity throughout the year.

Six per cent of mothers have post-natal depression and one-in-five mothers have depression. Not having children’s support services is a risk factor for depressive conditions, anxiety “disorders” and poorer sense of mental health of mothers, which affects the health of the family, the child and therefore society.

Nurseries also provide an opportunity for language and social interaction. Children may be living in hostels or cramped conditions and children living in poverty get a regular meal prepared on sight and space to move and play.

Removing these nurseries to redirect money to other services indicates that Camden is sending out a message that the most vulnerable in society are not worthy of a high standard of safety, support, and continued care.

What is the purpose and seriousness of the current consultation about nursery closures? How seriously are the people affected taken? What promises in terms of the continuity of child care provision are there?

Put our little ones first and keep Hampden Nursery, Konstam Nursery, Gospel Oak Nursery and Kilburn Grange Nursery.

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