What is the Council consulting about?
We are proposing to close Snowberry Nursery, located at 1 Snowberry Close London E15 2AH. If this proposal is agreed, it is proposed that the nursery will be closed by 31 August 2019.
Waltham Forest is a borough with continuing ambition to make ourselves a centre for excellence in Early Years and Childcare. Our aim is that this is provided by an exciting, vibrant, increasingly diverse and thriving School, Private, Voluntary and Independent early years sector that is of good and outstanding quality, achieves, excellent outcomes for children and that is sufficient, affordable and easily accessible for parents and carers.
In order to deliver this strategy, the Council will focus on delivering it statutory duties to:
- Provide information, advice and training to Schools and Ofsted registered providers of free early education and childcare on meeting the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, meeting the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities, vulnerable and disadvantaged children, and effective safeguarding and child protection.
- Secure sufficient childcare, so far as is reasonably practicable, for working parents, or parents who are studying or training for employment, for children aged 0-14 (or up to 18 for disabled children), by encouraging existing providers to expand their provision and new providers to enter the local childcare market if needed.
- Provide parents and prospective parents with comprehensive and up to date information about childcare and early education, including free places in their area.
The Department for Education’s statutory guidance states that “An English local authority may not provide childcare for a particular child or group of children unless the local authority are satisfied
- that no other person is willing to provide the childcare (whether in pursuance of arrangements made with the authority or otherwise), or
- if another person is willing to do so, that in the circumstances it is appropriate for the local authority to provide the childcare.”
Snowberry Nursery is the only remaining Council run Ofsted registered nursery in the borough, and has undergone a steady decline in the demand for full daycare childcare places over recent years.
There are other Schools and Ofsted registered settings in close proximity to Snowberry Nursery that are willing and able to provide places, some of whom are not currently operating at maximum capacity. We are therefore proposing to close Snowberry Nursery, located at 1 Snowberry Close London E15 2AH. If this proposal is agreed, it is proposed that the nursery will be closed by 31 August 2019.
How can I get involved?
We are consulting with several groups who may be impacted by these proposals:
- parents with children currently placed at the nursery
- Nursery staff
- Schools and Ofsted registered provision within a 0.5 mile radius,
- Ward Councillors and MPs in whose constituencies Snowberry is located
- Any other interested party
The consultation is taking place between 2 April– 14 May 2019.
What happens next?
The findings of this consultation will be reported to the Council’s Cabinet and will help inform their decision on the future of Snowberry Nursery. The report and its findings will be made available on the Council’s website. It is hoped that any decision will be taken at the Cabinet meeting to be held in July 2019.