Statement: Priory Street Nursery Closure

Last summer, York CVS set up a working group to consider the future of Priory Street Nursery, which has been losing money for nearly four years. On 13 November the Board of Trustees met to consider the working group’s conclusions and reluctantly decided to consult on the probable closure of Priory Street Nursery.

Nursery parents worked hard on proposals for changing the nursery’s opening hours and other aspects of the way it is run, including setting up a new charitable organisation to take over the running of the nursery later in the year. Their proposals were presented to Trustees in January. In addition, another nursery operator expressed interest in Priory Street Nursery. After reviewing information provided by York CVS, this operator decided not to proceed.

The Board of Trustees met again on 12 February to reach a final decision about the nursery’s future. The Board considered the parents’ ideas very carefully but concluded that the outline proposals would not guarantee the long term sustainability of the nursery.

Priory Street Nursery is currently losing money. While consultations have been taking place, some parents have decided to move their children to other nurseries and some members of the nursery staff have found jobs elsewhere. Taken together, these factors make the nursery less viable even in the short term. Looking further ahead, there is no guarantee that enough parents would choose this nursery to make it viable.

This has been an extremely difficult decision. Priory Street Nursery has an enviable reputation and is run by wonderful staff. The decision the Board faced was driven first and foremost by the need to balance York CVS’s budget, not by doubts about the quality of the nursery.

York CVS will take immediate steps to help parents find places for their children at other nurseries in the city. Staff are also being supported at this time.

The nursery is expected to close on 3 April 2020.

In view of the sensitivity relating to staff, York CVS will not be making further comment at this stage.

David Harbourne
Chair, York CVS