A council-run nursery in Bermondsey is set to be taken over by a charity, leaving current staff members facing redundancy or transfers to other nurseries.
From April, the South Bermondsey Children and Parents centre nursery in Tendra Road, which currently caters to around 60 children, will be under the control of the London Early Years Foundation (LEYF). The rest of the centre will remain in council hands.
Staff have been told to accept an “enhanced voluntary severance package” or transfer to another nursey remaining under the council’s control.
As well as the Tendra Road nursery, which employs around 15 people, LEYF also runs the Bird in the Bush Nursery in the Old Kent Road and Burgess Park Community Nursery in Glengall Road.
The council has assured parents that nursery fees will remain as they currently are, while eligible under-twos will receive free provision. A new baby room will be opened, while the number of places will be increased to reach the “full potential of the building”, increasing capacity by almost 50 children.
LEYF recently won UK Nursery Group of the Year for the second year running.
Councillor Victoria Mills, Southwark Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “We know how important quality and affordable childcare is to local families and the changes at South Bermondsey will give parents a much better offer, at the same price.
“We know any change brings some uncertainty, but we are meeting regularly with parents and staff to help ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements. LEYF are a fantastic charity, with a proven track record of running excellent nurseries.”