Parents anger as Brent council failing in it's childcare duties yet again

  • SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher

    SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher

    SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher

    As the 156th body was pulled from waters where the South Korean ferry sank a week ago, relatives of the missing are pressing the government to finish the task of recovery soon. But the work is becoming more complicated. (April 23) …

  • Bashtag: NYPD Twitter Campaign Backfires

    Bashtag: NYPD Twitter Campaign Backfires

    Bashtag: NYPD Twitter Campaign Backfires

    The New York Police Department, the nation's largest police force, learned the hard way that there are legions online devoted to short-circuiting even the best-intentioned public relations campaign. (April 23) …

  • May 2014 Business Issue: Trust Me

    May 2014 Business Issue: Trust Me

    May 2014 Business Issue: Trust Me

    From Airbnb to Lyft, the sharing economy is rewiring the way we interact with each other. In the May issue, Executive Editor Jason Tanz delves into the phenomenon of entrusting strangers with our most valuable possessions, personal experiences - and our very lives. Also this month: an inside look at the algorithms and formulas that Twitter and Facebook use to build the perfect feed, the story of a Silicon Valley startup struggling to survive, and the oral history of Mystery Science Theater 3000. …

Parents anger as Brent council failing in it's childcare duties yet again.

Brent parents are up in arms. First the council decided to close two valued nurseries, Treetops Children’s Centre in Willesden and Harmony Children’s centre in Neasden, and now they are planning to close a third, highly sought after nursery. Another blow to the community in troubled times. Hopscotch Nursery, which was awarded 'outstanding' in it's ofsted report in 2011 and 2012, has been in the Queen’s Park area for 20 years and has been providing parents with a private nursery and also daily stay and play facilities, much needed by parents in the community.


Leigh Steckler 36, has 3 children and lives in the local area, 2 of which have been at Hopscotch nursery.


“If Hopscotch closes, there just isn’t an alternative nursery in the area. There is a serious lack of nursery places in our area, and I was lucky to get my son into Hopscotch in the first place. Brent Council seem to have given up on the situation arguing that they don’t have a duty to keep Hopscotch as it’s not council run.. it’s very sad for all the local parents”


Interestingly, Brent do in fact have a statutory duty, under the 2006 childrens act, to ensure sufficient childcare for working parents. The act says that local authorities must take the strategic lead in their local childcare market, planning, supporting and commissioning childcare by working with local private, voluntary and independent sector providers to meet local need.


So, families in Brent have grounds to require that Brent council provide childcare, but what can be done; a full campaign has been launched to save the long running nursery which sets out to highlight the real lack of nursery provision in the area and the terrible loss to the community if the nursery and drop-in were to close.


Another Hopscotch Mum, Claire Hind 31, says


“I had just moved into the area and had a new baby. I was slightly daunted at the prospect of meeting other mums but I found the drop in details online and went along. I met so many local mums, all with the same age children as me, it was like a little community”


The situation in Brent


  • Brent has a high and increasing birth rate relative to the national average and to the London average.
  • 30% of families who already use childcare predicted their need for childcare will increase in future (compared to 10% who said it would decrease.)
  • 38% of Brent families surveyed need childcare between 8am and 6pm
  • 25.8% of parents surveyed reported they were unable to find childcare within the hours they required


The situation in the area surrounding Hopscotch


In the report, 'Kilburn' means Kilburn, Brondesbury Park, Mapesbury and Queen's Park.


All points below were true at the time of publication (Feb 2011.)


  • There are 3, 253 nought to four year- olds in Kilburn.
  • Compared to other Brent localities, families in Kilburn require the most hours of childcare (average = 28.1 per week)
  • Kilburn has no childcare places at playgroup or pre-school (Kingsbury and Wembley have more than 100.)
  • It has the lowest number of childminder places in the borough (120 compared to 222 in Willesden.)
  • It has the lowest number of vacancies in the borough at both childminders and nurseries
  • In 2011 there were only 12 part- time nursery vacancies for 2- 5 year- olds and only two for children over 3 (full time nursery vacancies not reported.)
  • In a survey, Kilburn families were the least satisfied in the borough with availability, choice and ease of obtaining childcare
  • 54% of Kilburn parents disagreed with the statement: 'there is plenty of childcare available.'
  • The report concludes that:


“there may be a lack of choice of childcare (in Kilburn) compared to other localities (and that) The availability of childcare may be more of an acute problem faced by families in Kilburn than it is for families in the rest of Brent.”


This ‘acute’ problem faced by family’s needs to be addressed by the council in providing more childcare in the area and making available there facilities to make sure parents have access to daily drop in centre’s and have a choice about their childcare. Having no option is not an option.


Parents also relayed their fears for affordable childcare if plans to close Hopscotch go ahead. Parents in the borough say that many of them will be forced to give up jobs because of a shortage of affordable nursery places. While Hopscotch costs £33 a day, other local nurseries are said to cost up to £70.


In a report written by the Director of Children and Families in Brent, it states,


“A growing body of evidence shows that good pre-school childcare gives children a head start and leads to better outcomes as they move through school. It also allows children to take part in a wide range of interesting activities that foster their personal development in a safe environment”


Brent are obviously well aware of the advantage of the children in their borough getting the best start in their educational and social lives, so putting parents and children under financial and emotional stress by giving them no alternative childcare seems illogical.


For more information about the possible closure of the much loved Hopscotch nursery, please click here.


To join the Save Hopscotch Nursery campaign, please click here

Follow @YahooMalaysia on LINE for daily entertainment updates.

  • "Wireless key finder", penyelamat anda
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    "Wireless key finder", penyelamat anda 16 hours ago
    "Wireless key finder", penyelamat anda

    Adakah anda merupakan seorang yang pelupa dan selalu kehilangan kunci akibat terlupa di mana anda meletakknya? …

  • Gaya Muslimah berjiwa moden
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    Gaya Muslimah berjiwa moden Tue, Apr 22, 2014 5:31 PM MYT
    Gaya Muslimah berjiwa moden

    Wanita yang berlitup kini tampil dengan pelbagai fesyen terkini dan gaya yang lebih moden disamping mengekalkan ciri-ciri Muslimah. …

  • Tampil bergaya & santai dengan topi!
    Azwa Iela - Tupai
    Tampil bergaya & santai dengan topi! Tue, Apr 22, 2014 11:33 AM MYT
    Tampil bergaya & santai dengan topi!

    Gabungan pakaian musim panas yang menarik dan pemilihan topi yang sesuai, dapat menyerlahkan seri imej seseorang. …

  • Doctor convicted in Michael Jackson death denied latest appeal
    Doctor convicted in Michael Jackson death denied latest appeal

    The California Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to hear an appeal by Michael Jackson's personal physician, Conrad Murray, who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the pop star's death. Murray was released from a Los Angeles jail in October after serving two years but wants to clear his name. The cardiologist's attorney, Valerie Wass, said Murray will likely attempt to overturn his conviction in federal court. …

  • Five tips to protect your eyes
    Yahoo Newsroom
    Five tips to protect your eyes Mon, Apr 21, 2014 12:50 PM MYT
    Five tips to protect your eyes

    Just like every other part of your body, your eyes need to be protected too. …

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.