Council strikes again at the vital children’s centre nurseries in Hackney jeopardising affordable quality childcare for families.
On Monday, January 29th, 2024, parents, caregivers, and community members gathered outside Sebright Children’s Centre in Haggerston, E2, to stand united against the proposed closures of multiple Children’s Centre nurseries by Hackney Council. Among the nurseries at risk of closure are Fernbank, Sebright, and Hillside, all integral parts of their respective local communities.
The proposed closures would not only result in the loss of nearly 150 council-subsidised childcare places but also jeopardise the livelihoods of over 40 staff members. For families already grappling with financial strain, the closure of these nurseries in Hackney threatens to exacerbate their struggles, making quality childcare even more inaccessible.
Furthermore, the council’s handling of the consultation process has come under scrutiny, with accusations of incomplete data and a lack of transparency. Concerns have been raised about the council’s commitment to genuinely engaging with the community and considering their feedback in decision-making processes.
This isn’t the first time these nurseries have faced closure threats. In late 2021, a similar attempt was met with a successful community-led campaign that resulted in a temporary reprieve. However, the current situation underscores the ongoing vulnerability of these essential services and the need for sustained advocacy to ensure their long-term survival.
– Yulisa Keselman, campaign spokesperson and parent with a child at Sebright.
“This news has come completely out of the blue for both staff and parents. We’re shocked at
the speed with which the consultation has come and the injustice of it all. We wholeheartedly
oppose this and will do everything to fight the decision to close our beloved nursery and
children’s centre, which is at the heart of our community. These short-sighted decisions have
a lasting impact on future generations.”
“We are devastated to be here, once again, fighting to keep these vital services that offer a
lifeline for many low-income families in particular, open. Parents and carers are angry and
emotional about staff redundancies, and deeply anxious about the impact on their children,
as well as the enormous difficulty of finding affordable childcare elsewhere.”Natalie Aguilera (aNatalie Aguilera (a parent of a child at Fernbank Nursery