ANGRY parents have launched a campaign to keep a Wearside nursery open.
Shocked parents were recently given the devastating news that The Early Days Daycare Nursery in Ryhope, would close at the end of term.
Now, more than 500 people have signed a petition calling on Sunderland City Council to step in and save the facility.
And, the authority says it is now looking for someone to take over the premises.
Karen Murley, whose two daughters, Emily, four, and 18-month-old Nancy, attend the setting, said many families will be left struggling to find affordable childcare.
She said: “It came as a complete shock and everyone is in uproar about it.
“It is such a valuable commodity for our village, there is nowhere else like this. The staff are fantastic and so experienced and the setting is very flexible to fit in with parents.”
Ashley Latham, 32, from Silksworth, says the nursery is a massive part of the lives of her children, Bradley, four, and 17-month-old Charlotte.
The single mother said: “The staff are amazing, this is the only support I have because I lost my mam last year and it gives the children stability.
“When my mam was ill they could not have been more understanding and flexible.”
Vicky Clark, 22, who is mum to Craig, two, and one-year-old Leonie, says if the nursery closes she will have to put her study plans on hold.
The Ryhope mum said: “Leonie is due to start here in September so I can go to full time college on an access to nursing course, if this closes I won’t be able to do that.”
It is thought 125 children will be left without places and around 12 staff members will lose their jobs in the closure of the facility, which is currently run by Ryhope Infant School and caters for pre-school children from birth.
Karen said: “From what I understand the school has been subsidising Early Days and because it is about to become an academy needs to focus its money in the school, which we all understand.
“But, we feel the council should step in and provide the funding.”
Sunderland City Council said it has advertised for a childcare provider for the nursery.
Councillor Pat Smith, Sunderland City Council’s portfolio holder for children’s services, said: “We will continue to work with community partners including parents and the school, to find alternative child care provision and employment opportunities within Ryhope to replace it.
“As part of that process we are advertising in the local and specialist media to find an alternative provider for the day care provision from September 2014 from within the current Early Days building.”