Parents upset as Brighton nursery move involves week's closure

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Parents are frustrated at the disruption their children are facing as their nursery is moving to a new site

Since Brighton and Hove City Council decided to move Bright Start Nursery from the old Slipper Baths in Barracks Yard to the Tarner Family Hub, parents have campaigned against the move.

Parents have now heard they will have no childcare for a week when staff and equipment move to the new site in Ivory Place.

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Council letter told parents and carers Bright Start Nursery will close at the end of the afternoon session on Friday 23 August and shall re-open at the new site on 2 September.

Bright Start ProtestBright Start Protest
Bright Start Protest

The reasoning behind the timing is summer term funding ends on the Friday for the children leaving for school.

Closing for four days, as Monday 26 August is a bank holiday, was described as causing the “least disruption” in the letter to families.

Bright Start dad Ed Armston-Sheret has a baby daughter at the nursery said parents and carers are frustrated they will lose out on a week of childcare and face moving to a lesser service.

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Mr Armston-Sheret said: “The nursery at the Tarner Hub won’t be the same Bright Start. It won’t have any provision for under twos and will have lost a third of its staff.

“Many parents and carers wouldn’t be against a move if it wasn’t being used as a cover for staff and service cuts.

“Labour councillors said they would maintain nurseries, but they seem to have forgotten their manifesto pledges”

Mr Armston-Sheret said there will be 18 children starting at the 22-child capacity nursery in September when there were 60 registered at the previous site.

He said: “The whole thing is a bit frustrating really.

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“We had the open day at the Tarner Centre. As a building it’s fine, but the space is fraction of the size of Bright Start and the outdoor space is quite small.”

Parents launched a petition in April, titled Save the Baby Room at Bright Start Nursery which is currently 26 signatures short of the 1,250 required to trigger a debate at a full council meeting.​Labour councillor Jacob Taylor, deputy leader of the council, cabinet member for finance and city regeneration and co-chair of the former Children, Families and Schools Committee said the nursery had been threatened with closure under the previous Green-led administration.

Councillor Taylor said: “Following a consultation with parents on the operating model – every single parent currently at Bright Start can be accommodated in the new building on the same hours and same number of weeks, including those children currently under two.

“Despite massive real terms cuts in funding from government, this Labour council are very proud to be maintaining all seven council-run nurseries in the city – a vital investment in early years.

“Most other councils stopped running nurseries years ago, including East and West Sussex.”

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