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Early Years Places in Crisis

This petition had 192 supporters

Thursday 16th February 2017, the highland council intent to hold a meeting to reduce the amount of Early Years centres focusing on those nurseries that only provide 'sessional time'.

This in itself goes against the manifesto in which it clearly states they are committed to provide more flexibility and choice for parents. As a parent we have a right to decide if and when our children attend a pre-school setting, as well as choosing what hours suit individual needs. Having heard many situations where parents have been refused places in school nurseries due to a lack of space or the hours not suiting needs, it becomes apparent that the rights of parents are being ignored. Not only is it obvious there is a lack of flexibility towards parents, the right of parents to choose what type of setting is being taken away. Not all parents need or want to send their children to a nursery at the age of three for eight hours a day, and yet this is what some are being faced with due to the fact that they are the only hours a wrap-around setting can offer. 

Partnership nurseries are at the focus of this meeting as they are the ones being targeted. These nurseries are a first choice for many parents as they provide a more nurturing and caring setting which also enables a child to have a structured routine. It is a belief by many parents that school nurseries have now become a free for all in, in which there is no structure or continuity regarding staff or children. Partnership nurseries have a higher staff to child ratio allowing those children with more emotional, psychological and physical needs being met. Partnership nurseries have a lower staff turnover, a strong indicator of a happy, settled and well managed setting. Parents have the right to choose this, however the aim of the meeting it to reduce this right and push more and more children into school nurseries. Most school nurseries responded to the Union in the Early Years Provision question by saying that they did not have the capacity to take on more children, with great emphasis being put on children born later on in the year as spaces will have already be taken.

Parental rights state that they have the right to play a central role in making decisions about their child's care and education, at every level. Yet come Thursday this right will be take away from many that choose to do what they see best for their child. Many see this meeting as a way of cost-cutting, and yet we are made to believe it is not the setting itself that gets the funding, it is the individual child. Therefore where is the cost cutting if a child is funded individually, it shouldn't matter which setting they attend.

Please sign this petition to show your support to our partnership nurseries as well as showing that as parents we wont stand for our rights to be minimised. 

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