Queen’s Park nursery faces being booted out and axed
Hundreds could miss out on childcare if council sells Hopscotch site
Hundreds of families could be left struggling for pre-school childcare if a nursery in Queen’s Park is booted out of their building by Brent Council.
Hopscotch Nursery on Chevening Road could be forced to close its doors for good after they were warned by the council, their landlord, that they would not be renewing their lease.
The nursery, which was set up 26 years ago by local mothers, is one of a handful in the borough offering full-time places at affordable rates.
Parents and staff fear they are being told to leave their premises as the council wants to sell the building in one of the most desirable parts of the borough.
A four-bedroom house on the same road recently sold for �3.25million.
Nursery manager Vivien Moxamtold the Times: “This is a very desirable part of the borough, so I suspect the council will sell the building.”
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“There are almost 200 children who use the nursery and closing it could have devastating effects.”
Almost 70 children attend the nursery while a further 100 use the daily drop-in centre, which is open for three hours every week day morning.
Ms Moxam added: “We provide a unique service that other places simply can’t and have become so much a part of the community.”
In response to the plans, concerned parents and staff have set-up Save Hopscotch, a campaign group calling on the council to allow them to stay, or help them find a new home.
The nursery, which had an “outstanding” Ofsted rating last year, employs 16 staff who could all lose their jobs when the lease expires next year. Gali Gold, chairman of the management committee, whose three-year-old son Saul attends the nursery, said “no alternative” exists for children in the area.
‘‘The shortage of childcare provision in our area is grave.”
Nathan Williams, whose three-year-old daughter, Zoe, is also a pupil, branded the news a travesty. He said: “Hopscotch is a wonderful place with beautiful facilities and it doesn’t cost the council any money. They should be grateful for it, not trying to get rid of it.”
However, a spokesman for Brent Council denied that a final decision had been made. He said: “This is dependent upon plans for the building as a whole.”
tTo find out more about Save Hopscotch go to http://save hopscotch.org.uk