Save Cherry Tree Children's Centre and Nursery

Save Cherry Tree Children's Centre and Nursery

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Michaela Lawrence started this petition to Lambeth Council and Rosenddale Primary School
With no consultation of the local community, parents and caregivers the Cherry Tree Children's Centre (CTCC) was told at 3.50pm Friday afternoon it was to close in a few months time.
Those involved in the decision then became unavailable for several weeks over Easter. Parents and children have been left in limbo.

Cherry Tree is a thriving community and is one of the largest and most oversubscribed publicly funded nurseries in the area. It was extended in 2014 to accommodate the free early years care of 2 & 3 year olds. It offers amazing SEN and physical disability care provision in a building purpose built for children with unrivalled wrap around access to green garden space with a team of staff who are highly skilled and passionate about quality early years care, some of whom have been there for 30 years.

Parents had been told that there would be no changes to Lambeth councils Childcare delivery in the recent remodelling and cost saving plans. There has been no consultation.

However the Great North Wood Education Trust who run Rosendale School & CTCC plan to subsume CTCC into Rosendale Children's Centre. This is a mile away and so chronically oversubscribed it cannot serve the community it is closest too.

The opaque plan to increase the number of children the Rosendale takes for early years this will be at a detriment to all children. Rosendale being a very crowded site already with very limited outdoor space. It will not cover the total number of children's places available at CTCC currently.

It does not take into consideration the community of West Dulwich, West Norwood and Gypsy Hill that CTCC serves and for whom Rosendale will simply not be an option. This is in addition to a general lack of affordable childcare in the area.

This is bad for the children of both Cherry Tree and Rosendale. There would be no children's centre services at either site.

A parent action group is urgently seeking a halt to this decision while alternative solutions can be sought.

Nick Acton, father and spokesperson for Cherry Tree Action Group said:

“We are dismayed at the lack of clarity and adherence to Council published guidelines regarding the consultation over the future of our Children’s Centres in Lambeth and the future of Cherry Tree Children’s Centre. At no point were we or the community advised there was a threat of closure, in fact the opposite.

We believe that due to its opaque management structure under the Great North Wood Education Trust/Rosendale Children’s Centre, Cherry Tree’s children and families have been denied their rightful voice. Cherry Tree is an exceptionally popular purpose-built childcare facility relied on by many families seeking both the free and affordable early years childcare on offer here.

Rather than see the end of childcare provision at Cherry Tree, we are now just beginning the fight to be heard to ensure the excellent services it has always been known for can continue.”

The closure of Cherry Tree Children's Centre leaves parents trying to find suitable alternative childcare in only a few months this especially disadvantages those with the very youngest babies and toddlers who face waiting lists at other providers of 24 months.

15th April - Lambeth Cabinet Council meeting to take place with a final vote on the closure of five Children’s Centre’s across the borough. The Agenda includes full details of the Consultation on proposed changes to Children’s Centre’s in which CTCC is also not mentioned as a centre, nor does it include details of any consultation meetings on its future as a site. A consultation meeting at Rosendale CC, under which CTCC is managed as a ‘satellite site’, which was not widely publicised, is noted, and was attended by only 13 people, none of whom were CTCC parents and caregivers.

Save Cherry Tree Children's Centre on Twitter
https://twitter.com/CherryTreeAG?s=09



Lambeth & Great North Wood Educational Trust - Halt the planned closure and seek alternative solutions so that this Cherry Tree Children's Centre & nursery can be saved.

Call an immediate halt to the Cabinet decision being made on the closure of Children’s Centres on 15th April (and specifically highlight the ‘invisible’ closure of Cherry Tree CC) – until a fair and thorough review and representative consultation can be held.


I started this petition because…
I'm a local mum of three all of whom have benefited from the care provided by Cherry Tree as a children's centre and as a nursery. As parents who are a nurse and a teacher we know how terrifyingly difficult it is to source affordable childcare of a quality our children deserve.
0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!