Out of time

SOME partnership nurseries in East Renfrewshire could be forced to close following cuts to funding.

Others will have to cut back on the places they offer to children - leaving many youngsters in limbo for next year.

Nurseries received a letter detailing the funding cuts this month and as a result, they will have to withdraw placing assurances to a number of children.

Gillian Irons is head of the steering group campaigning for the council to reconsider.

Mrs Irons from Mansewood has three sons, two of which attended Park Nursery in Giffnock, but after a funding cut it now appears that her son Ruaridh (3) will not be able to follow in his brothers’ footsteps.

She told The Extra : “East Renfrewshire council is playing God with the future of our children.

“Partnership nurseries have more flexibility for work. This decision will hurt single mums and working families.

“Withdrawing funding is not fair”.

A spokesman from East Renfrewshire council said: “We have set out, as other councils have, a limit to the number of places we’ll buy in based on the average number of East Renfrewshire pupils that have attended over the past three years.

“That works out at more 300 places we are buying in from private providers”.

In a similar vein to the proposals for St Ninian’s and Robslee, the cut in funding is set to ensure people with East Ren postcodes remain the priority of the council, rather than those with Glasgow postcodes.

Managers at the nurseries in question refused to be named so not to further damage their relationship with the council.

However, several did confirm that there is a real risk of job losses and eventually, closure.

On Tuesday evening, 40 concerned parents met at Park Nursery to discuss the cuts - one of them was Richard Abrams from Newton Mearns.

His child Adam (3), is set to go into his second year at Broom nursery but he will now be forced to contribute financially as there is no longer enough funding to have a free place.

Mr Abrams told The Extra: “Partnership nurseries offer more individual, tailored care for children.

“For working parents, there is also increased flexibility and more extra curricular care. East Renfrewshire council is limiting parental choice severely while unsettling children.

“A lot of people have turned down places at other nurseries, only to have their chosen place snatched away”.