Save Our Sunflower
Dear Friends and Supporters of Sunflower Nursery, Sunflower Nursery is a small nursery providing high quality childcare for children between the ages of 4 months and 4 years old. It cares for 33 children, 15 of whom are on assisted places. At a meeting convened by Cambridge housing Society(CHS) for the parents, CHS announced its \'in-principle\' decision to close Sunflower nursery. Parents were told that the final decision will be made by the CHS board on the 12th of June and an unfavourable decision could mean the nursery closes on the 28th of September. In the wake of a \'good-value\' assessment based on out of date information, the nursery is judged to be underperforming financially and not to provide enough social benefit. CHS refused repeatedly, at the meeting, to state clearly what \"adequate financial performance and social benefit\" might entail. In particular, CHS refused to give parents and staff any clear targets that might be worked toward, let alone a clear breakdown of the nursery\'s huge overheads. The Nursery plays an important role in the local community. It promotes social integration in an area that is increasingly threatened by social divisions. It encourages gender equality by making it possible for women to return to work or in some cases school or College, safe in the knowledge that their children are in good hands, and without having to lose precious work time (and add to local traffic congestion) by using cars to take their children to more distant nurseries. It plays a significant part enhancing the financial prospects of local families, whether their children are on assisted places or not. It is no secret that career breaks impact negatively on the future earnings of women, which in turn affects their families, particularly their children. Although powerless individually, if we stand together, we can make a change. It is however imperative that we act NOW, very urgently, otherwise it will be too late. We have two aims: 1. to persuade Cambridge Housing Society to keep the nursery open for another year, so that 2. we can explore in detail and implement policies that will turn the nursery into a fully independent entity. We cannot achieve objective number 2 in the next few weeks - we need to collect data on rents, expenses, how other small nurseries that are independent work etc. This work can only start this summer, and we are not asking you to commit yourself to any kind of eventual solution that is proposed. We request you to sign a petition to the Board of CHS, asking them to keep the nursery open atleast another year, in order to help the nursery become independent after that.