Bromley Council is seeking views, from both residents and local businesses, regarding the proposed permanent closure of Blenheim Nursery.
Blenheim Nursery has been in operation on the Blenheim School site, within Blenheim Children and Family Centre, since 2006. However, there has been a reduced need for nursery places on this site with demand for year-round nursery places generally diminishing within the local area. There are sufficient nursery places to meet local needs, despite the forced temporary closure of the nursery in June 2022, with all children successfully settled into other local early years settings.
Blenheim Nursery initially closed temporarily as the nursery was unable to maintain legal adult to child ratios. The nursery has now been temporarily closed for a period of six months, an action the council reluctantly was forced to take when it was unable to employ sufficient suitable staff to run the nursery safely and legally. This was despite multiple attempts over a year to recruit to vacant staff posts.
Should the council succeed in recruiting to the vacant posts in the near future, the cost to council taxpayers of continuing to run a partially full nursery is unsustainable in the long term.
Bromley Council is committed to providing services for residents that offer value for money, and the closure of Blenheim Nursery would enable the council to direct resources to where they are most needed. For instance, the council continues to run its other nursery, Community Vision in the Penge area, where demand for year-round childcare is buoyant.
The high costs of running a nursery which has operated significantly below capacity for some time, coupled with lack of suitable staff to operate within legal staffing limits, clearly demonstrates that a full day care nursery is not required at the Blenheim location and would not be financially sustainable in the longer term.
Given these circumstances, consideration must now be given to closing permanently the nursery on this site following its temporary closure more than six months ago.
Before a final decision is reached, Bromley Council is seeking public comments on this proposed permanent closure as part of the consultation process.
Have your say
Such decisions are never taken lightly, and we want to ensure that the views of local people are taken into consideration when making the final decision on the future of Blenheim Nursery.
The consultation closed on 15 February 2023
Thank you to all those who responded.. Your views will be considered by chief officers, and the proposed outcome will be scrutinised by the Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Families in consultation with the Director of Education, prior to a final decision being made.