Parents battle to rescue Islington nursery after cash blow

Toddlers could lose their much-loved nursery unless cash can be found to secure its future.

Rainbows Stay and Play has been left in a desperate struggle to secure financial support before the autumn term after the church at which it is based – All Saints in Carnegie Street, Islington – pulled its funding.

Claire Dearing, whose children Ivy Grace, two, and Thomas, one, attend the nursery, said: “It is just very unfortunate. We don’t want to be facing closure.

“The little ones get so much enjoyment and it is a great place for the parents to unwind.”

More than 20 children attend the term-time sessions between 10am and noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Parents have formed a management committee and hope to turn it into a registered charity.

They need a regular funding stream to rent the hall and employ a staff member and are appealing for help from businesses and other organisations.

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Claire Harper whose daughter Sophie, two, visits the nursery, said: “The children live on deprived estates and we have single parents with nowhere else to go. That is why we are fighting to keep it open.”

Caroline King whose son Alfie, two, and her one-year-old twins Ben and Amelia enjoy attending the group, said: “These playgroups are a necessity.”

All Saints Church priest Ted Fell said: “The nursery is very popular, but we are not a wealthy church and it is impossible to continue the funding.”

Cllr Richard Watts, executive member for children and young people, said: “Rainbows has never been funded by the council and with current government funding cuts we are not able to grant them money.

“However, we are doing everything we can to ensure they keep running by giving them business advice support, including setting up a bank account, a management committee and financial systems. We are also helping them raise money from other sources.

“We hope with our support the group will continue to run independently.”