Parents angry as childcare provider forced out of North Tyneside school

Parents say they fear they may have to give up their jobs if a childcare service is forced out of a Tyneside school.

Little Rockets Childcare regularly looks after around 75 pupils and their siblings at Stephenson Memorial Primary in Wallsend.

But it has been told it must move out of the school after eight years because more space is needed for lessons.

“A lot of parents are quite angry – we chose the school because of the wrap around childcare,” said mum-of-two Kelly Ford, who works for a document scanning firm.

“I can’t work without childcare – I can’t ask my employer to just let me leave to go and pick up my children. Businesses will understand a lot of things but not if you suddenly have to finish two hours early every day.

“At a time when it is important to try and get everyone back into work this seems wrong.”

The club, which offers before and after school childcare, plus a holiday club, was founded in July 2006 by local women Angela Smith and Karen Moye – and until recently saw its services advertised on the school’s own website.

“We were asked by a previous headteacher to come and set up here, and starting with two or three children we’ve grown to look after around 75 children, all year round,” said Angela. “And we’ve a waiting list.”

“It’s the parents in the area I feel sorry for – Most of our parents say they don’t want us to move and that they’ll struggle if we close.”

But headteacher Emma Overton said that with rising pupil numbers the school could no longer afford Little Rockets the space, and so had decided not to renew its lease from September.

“The school has guaranteed that no family will be left without provision for their child in September,” she said. “If the company cannot find new premises, arrangements will be made for children to attend an after-school group or club in our school.

“Neighbouring Howdon Children’s Centre has also confirmed it has childcare places available, and school staff have offered to escort children to and from the centre.”

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Parents angry as childcare provider forced out of North Tyneside school
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