Fears for future of Sunderland kindergarten

CLOSURE: Front Nick Dow and son Kian,5 and angry residents unhappy about closure to Premier Kindergarten
CLOSURE: Front Nick Dow and son Kian,5 and angry residents unhappy about closure to Premier Kindergarten
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PARENTS are fighting to save a kindergarten from closure.

Premier Kindergarten may shut within weeks after cuts in Government support left it financially unsustainable.

Mums and dads say they are now worried for their young children’s education.

The kindergarten, which caters for 33 children, is an extension of Plains Farm Primary School, but is not under Sunderland City Council’s control.

Parents were told that due to financial problems it could shut on February 10.

Felicity Tait, of Grindon, who sends daughter Eve, three, to Premier Kindergarten, said: “I’m at work three days a week and the kindergarten collects Eve from nursery and then looks after her.

“So if it closes I’m going to lose that service. I don’t want the upheaval for her.

“They also provide an excellent holiday club and they take them on trips as well. The ladies who work there really care about the children.”

“For kids this age to get moved from one nursery to another, well, they shouldn’t be going through that,” he added.

“My partner works three days a week, and with me being full-time it would be difficult because I’m going to be pretty busy over the next few weeks.”

Parents have taken to the internet and created a “Keep Premier Kindergarten Open for Our Kids and Community” group on Facebook, which has already gathered support from hundreds of people.

The group’s information section says that the Kindergarten has “offered a caring and educationally stimulating environment for hundereds of pre-school children over the past eight years”.

Premier opened in 2003 and has two playrooms as well as a purpose-built extension to Plains Farm Education Nursery and Primary School.

Moya Thirlwell, headteacher at Plains Farm Primary School, said: “Governors have taken the decision to close the daycare service provided by Premier Kindergarten.

“Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, cutbacks in Government funding have hit the kindergarten hard and without this support the service is financially unsustainable.

“This closure does not affect the provision of the free 15-hour nursery education entitlement for three and four-year-olds.

“Sunderland City Council will support the parents, children and staff affected by the closure and will help to identify alternative daycare provision for the Plains Farm community.”

Twitter: @davidallison88