11:50am Monday 28th October 2013
A NURSERY owner has spoken of her disappointment at plans to withdraw early years children’s services from the Willow Tree in Clacton.
Brenda Dearsley has privately run Willow Tree Nursery and Children’s Centre in Chingford Avenue, Clacton for 25 years.
It was her passion for early years education that meant she was happy to play a part in the Governments Children’s Centre initiative and host services from her nursery.
Since 2006 Willow Tree has been the base for children’s services, such as parent courses and baby clinics, held under the umbrella title ABC Together.
Now Essex County Council has proposed to axe the services as part of plans to save £2.5million by 2016.
The plans suggest moving the services from Brenda’s nursery and merging them with services already on offer at the Rainbow Centre in Old Pier Street,Walton - 20 minutes away.
Brenda said: “The Willow Tree Nursery is an outstanding nursery and a centre of excellence and we look forward to continuing to offer care and education for future generations.
“It is an ideal place for the council and Barnardo’s to run the programme and it will be such a shame for the parents if they took them away.
“We are very proud of how the children services have worked alongside our nursery, it has been very useful for families in the local area.”
The council has launched a six-week consultation into plans to stop delivering children’s services at 11 sites in the county.
For some this could mean travelling miles to access baby massage, health services and programmes to develop language and communication.
Two centres on the same site in Oxford Road, Clacton would also merge.
“It’s a farce,” Brenda said.
“We were in the process of agreeing a lease with them and now this has happened.
“But even if the council and Barnardo’s do withdraw services held at Willow Tree Nursery and Children’s Centre we will stay open and be unaffected by the changes.”
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