Paying parents have been left in limbo after a nursery told them to find new day care for their children.
Carterhatch Children’s Centre, which has premises in Bell Lane and Autumn Close in Enfield, wrote to parents to inform them of its decision to withdraw places for privately paid children.
Instead, the nursery will only offer places in September to children aged two and three that are wholly supported by the Government.
A letter sent out to aggrieved parents states that: “From September 1, 2014, we will be running places that are fully funded by the government.”
Sent by headtacher Andrew Boyes, it seeks financial reasons as the main factor in the decision
Parent Laurence Dookie said that this result is actively encouraging parents to go onto benefits.
He said: “This news is absolutely ridiculous, I have spent more than £50,000 on nurseries looking after my children throughout the years and now to be told I cannot send my child here – it’s a disgrace.
“I am basically telling me to stop working and collect benefits in order to send my child to nursery. As parents who pay all the fees, we will stand together against this as nursery spaces in the borough are at a premium.”
Shaida Ilahi of Freezywater said that she may have to quit her job as a solicitor in order to look after her son.
“My three-year-old son has only just started to really settle into his class and is now talking about his new friends. To have to tell him that he can no longer go to this nursery in September is devastating.
“We pay £46 a day for our son to be taken care of which is much cheaper than two other nurseries I have enquired about. This could leave me with no option but to quit my job.
“Is this really what the government wants? I am told this is happening all over the country and how the government advocate people becoming unemployed so their children can go to nursery.”
The centre takes children from three months of age, to five years old at both its sites.
Parents have told the Enfield Independent that they will stand together against this and have put forward a petition.
Enfield North MP Nick de Bois is outraged by the ‘brutal fashion’ in which the nursery has made this decision.
He said: “I was very disappointed to hear that these parents are being told to look for alternative nursery places because of a change in admissions policy by the nursery in question.
“On the face of it the policy change is being handled in a brutal fashion leaving parents with limited chances of finding alternative places at short notice and where there is limited capacity elsewhere.
“I am writing to both the nursery in question for clarification of their policy and the Education minister to seek her departments view on this matter.”
Currently, the government offers three and four-year-olds as well as some two-year-old free education for 15 hours each week for 38 weeks a year.
This applies to people who are on: income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, child tax credit and have an annual income not over £16,190 including others.
However, from September onwards, more two-year-olds will be eligible for this grant.
It will now apply to parents who get working tax credits and earn no more than £16,190 a year.
Other factors include; if the child gets disability living allowance or has left care through special guardianship, adoption or residence order.
Enfield Independent has asked the children’s centre for a response.