Fears over Halesowen College nursery closure
A college has warned its nursery will close this summer if a new provider can't be found to run it.
Parents have reacted with concern after bosses at Halesowen College announced they would no longer be running its nursery.
Principal David Williams said the college would aim to transfer ownership to an external provider but that if the search doesn't prove successful the nursery would likely close by July.
He said the college was "no longer able to maintain the nursery" and that it had been a "difficult decision to take".
The nursery offers 38 places and had 21 children on its roll as of 2016.
It was rated as inadequate by Ofsted until 2016 when its performance improved to good.
In a letter to parents, Mr Williams said: "The college has concluded that it is no longer able to maintain the nursery in its current form and is seeking to transfer ownership to an external provider.
"We would expect a new nursery provider to maintain the similar levels of service, including the use of our existing staff and facilities.
"However, if that is not possible, then regrettably we consider it unlikely that the college will continue to operate a nursery service behind the end of July 2019.
"We hope to be able to confirm to you by the end of the week commencing June 6 whether the nursery will be transferred to another provider or permanently closed.
"This has been a difficult decision to take and I would like to thank you for your support for the nursery in recent years. We understand that you value the provision and are sorry for any concern caused by this decision."
Concerned parent Mark, aged 37, whose three-year-old daughter goes to the nursery, said: "I have concerns that the loss of what to me is an exceptional nursery means that not only do I need to find replacement care for my daughter, but that the already high youth unemployment will skyrocket."
He added: "It's shame. Not only will there be a huge loss of skills, there is a proper garden there where children can play. It's a safe space."
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