Funding cuts in adult learning blamed as Wirral Met College closes its day nursery

UPDATED: Funding cuts in adult learning blamed as Wirral Met College closes its day nursery

Waterside Nursery users who are protesting about the proposed closure.

Elizabeth Spencer with her daughter Alice, aged two.

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A NURSERY used by young parents studying at a Wirral college is set to close its doors due to “serious challenges” caused by cuts in public funding.

Waterside Nursery, based at Wirral Met's Twelve Quays campus, is used mainly by students but from July, they will have to find alternative provision.

Sue Higginson, principal of Wirral Met, said the college is working closely with trade unions to support staff as they work through the consultation process, blaming changes and cuts in public funding for adult learning for the closure.

She said that while most students choose childcare provision closer to home - providing continuity of care for their child when they progress from college into work or university – some choose to pay for a place at Waterside.

Those parents have described the closure as a “travesty”.

Elizabeth Spencer, from Bromborough, told the Globe: “Wirral Met have just increased their tuition for higher education to £9,000. They’re making a lot more money but now they’re taking away the nursery which is used by younger parents doing NVQs.”

The 32-year-old former Wirral Met student, whose husband Thomas currently studies there, added: “My daughter is on the autistic spectrum and she really struggles to settle.

"I can honestly say the staff have been absolutely amazing and have gone out of their way to make sure she is happy.

“She has gone from screaming and not wanting to be left to toddling in quite happily.

“A number of children with special educational needs go to there and get a lot of support.

“It’s a travesty - they’re looking to close on July 25 which doesn’t give a huge amount of time for parents.

“We are not happy about this. We are not happy about the lack of notice.”

“The impact will be felt not just by those who currently attend the college, but also by parents who are currently working, who will struggle to find alternate provision in such a short period of time.”

An online petition set up on Thursday against the closure has already received 390 signatures.

Principal Higginson said: “Sadly, it is no longer possible for us to retain the Waterside Nursery and so we will close this facility at the end of the current academic year, in July.

“This decision in no way reflects the quality of provision provided, which is very good.

"It is regrettably a reflection of the changes to public sector funding and the reality that we must focus on our core business of further and higher education.

“The financial subsidy for parents, and students who qualify to secure childcare provision, will remain unchanged and this will be paid to support them in seeking alternative childcare provision.”

She added: “We are providing information about alternative childcare provision to parents who use the nursery and will continue to provide advice and financial support, to students who qualify for this, which they can use to secure alternative childcare provision.”

  • To sign the petition, click here. 

Comments (3)

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1:26pm Fri 20 Jun 14

anti everything says...

This is a joke, Sue Higginson says the the closure is due to cuts in adult education but all of these adults take out loans to fund the tuition fees that the college charges for them to learn there! Some of the students who use the nursery cannot afford to carry on their studies thus leaving them heavily in debt! is the college going to pay for their student loans?
38 people are set to lose their jobs, this has the potential to cost almost £250,000 in jsa payments and housing benefits, not to mention the other benefit entitlements they my receive.
With other nurseries set to close around the Wirral, under the guise of saving £772,000, this is going to cost the dwp millions of pounds in benefits, creating higher unemployment and poverty.
This also affects the education of children as young as three months old, as well as the education of those who are unable to go back.
It is nothing more than profiteering and theft of education.
This is a joke, Sue Higginson says the the closure is due to cuts in adult education but all of these adults take out loans to fund the tuition fees that the college charges for them to learn there! Some of the students who use the nursery cannot afford to carry on their studies thus leaving them heavily in debt! is the college going to pay for their student loans? 38 people are set to lose their jobs, this has the potential to cost almost £250,000 in jsa payments and housing benefits, not to mention the other benefit entitlements they my receive. With other nurseries set to close around the Wirral, under the guise of saving £772,000, this is going to cost the dwp millions of pounds in benefits, creating higher unemployment and poverty. This also affects the education of children as young as three months old, as well as the education of those who are unable to go back. It is nothing more than profiteering and theft of education. anti everything
  • Score: 6

6:19pm Mon 23 Jun 14

spamfiend says...

Sue Higginson says the the closure is due to cuts in adult education but we all know it is due to the mismanagement of money by the people at the town hall, spending all the money on not needed renovations a la staircases and privvies
Sue Higginson says the the closure is due to cuts in adult education but we all know it is due to the mismanagement of money by the people at the town hall, spending all the money on not needed renovations a la staircases and privvies spamfiend
  • Score: -3

11:16am Tue 24 Jun 14

smabo says...

spamfiend wrote:
Sue Higginson says the the closure is due to cuts in adult education but we all know it is due to the mismanagement of money by the people at the town hall, spending all the money on not needed renovations a la staircases and privvies
Not so, spamfiend, the Waterside Day Nursery has no connections with the council. The council-run nursery story is a separate one, but one which looks like it will throw up the same problems for families affected.
[quote][p][bold]spamfiend[/bold] wrote: Sue Higginson says the the closure is due to cuts in adult education but we all know it is due to the mismanagement of money by the people at the town hall, spending all the money on not needed renovations a la staircases and privvies[/p][/quote]Not so, spamfiend, the Waterside Day Nursery has no connections with the council. The council-run nursery story is a separate one, but one which looks like it will throw up the same problems for families affected. smabo
  • Score: 1

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