Kingston Council: 'No shortage of nursery school places here'

Kingston Hill Children's Centre supporters

Kingston Hill Children's Centre supporters

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Kingston Council has denied there is a shortage of nursery school places in the borough because it has not had any complaints from parents.

There are currently 1,455 children in council run nurseries and 1,798 in private, voluntary or independent nurseries in Kingston.

But the council was unable to confirm it had any targets for more nursery school places despite the growing number of children in the borough.

A Kingston Council spokesman said: "We continue to work with state-funded, private, voluntary and independent (PVI) providers to ensure there are sufficient nursery places across the borough and that we meet our statutory duty. There has been an increase across the maintained and PVI sector in recent years to secure the places needed.

"The new duty for targeted two year old provision has led to growth and expansion in a number of settings.

"We are not aware of any locality where additional places are needed for three and four year-olds at the moment.

"The council has not received any complaints from local parents about a lack of places for three year olds in their local area."

But parent Kyla Duff said: "Kingston is well over populated since the riverside development went up. More and more people are being housed there without any provision of school places, nursery places, doctors or dentists.

"I live a walk away from Alexandra School and didn't get a nursery place at any of the five local school nurseries. I had to go on a waiting list for all of them."

Earlier this month the council announced plans to close Kingston Hill Childrens’ Centre to make way for an early years provision for "hard-to-reach" families with two-year-olds that would automatically be given a place at Alexandra Infants’ School nursery the following year.

This is in line with the council’s target of providing 32 new early education places for two year olds from September 2014, but this has left other parents who may not use the new provision feeling uncertain about getting their children into Alexandra’s nursery.

Governors at the school are set to discuss the admissions criteria later this year.

Have you had problems getting your child into nursery or are you worried about the future? Call the newsdesk on 020 8722 6321 or email ndewji@london.newsquest.co.uk. 

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