Closure-threatened Falkirk nursery wins praise following inspection

The popular Babes in the Wood nursery
The popular Babes in the Wood nursery

Parents who send their children to a high-achieving nursery that’s about to close are continuing a campaign to reverse the decision.

Babes in the Wood at Callendar Business Park is to shut at the end September. It is run by the Department of Work and Pensions’s Child Maintenance Group in premises leased from Falkirk Council.

The early-years centre, managed by childcare provider Bright Horizons, is used by 45 families employed by the Child Support Agency or DWP.

On hearing the news earlier this month, staff and parents said they would fight the decision and contacted Falkirk MP Michael Connarty and MSP Michael Matheson.

Some parents are also expected to take part in an interview with a national radio station.

One parent said: “The parents are really passionate about the nursery.

“We really don’t want to lose it and it seems crazy to have a purpose-built nursery like this sit empty.”

Mr Connarty said: “This is terrible news for parents.

“It may be difficult for some of them to keep working.”

A spokesperson for Bright Horizons said: “We have been in discussions with the Child Maintenance Group, but it is now clear that it will not be possible to continue nursery services at the site.

“We are providing advice and support as they seek alternative childcare arrangements in the area.“

Gary Greenhorn, the council’s acting director of education said: “We are assessing what we can do to offer help to those affected.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “As part of its remuneration package, we support employees through scheme where they can give up part of their salary in return for childcare vouchers, which allows for significant savings through tax relief.

“This gives parents support in order to make their own choices for childcare. Consequently, as suitable alternatives exist, it is no longer appropriate or sustainable 
to continue to contract 
for workplace nursery provision.”