Acol given new lease of life

Following on from Netherwood, another campaign regular visitors to this blog will be aware was our fight against the closure of Acol Children’s Centre nursery.

Mike (with daughter Eva, who attends Acol) campaignign against closure, February 2011

Whilst we weren’t able to persuade Camden to halt its plans to close Acol as a Sure Start, ward councillors worked hard with officers, parents – and alongside the similar campaign around Caversham Children’s Centre – to make sure that it didn’t mean an end to having a nursery on that site.

Decent childcare is one of the biggest priorities for families in Kilburn and West Hampstead.  Frankly, there simply isn’t enough of it; what childcare there is, is often either inflexible or unaffordable.

As ward councillors, we were determined to push Camden to make sure that what was promised when the decision to close Acol was taken – a new community nursery in its place – was actually delivered.

So it’s great news that Camden Community Nurseries (CCN) has been selected, following a rigourous evaluation, to run a new nursery from Acol.  This will open in September and will thus provide a seamless service when Acol closes in August.

CCN have been operating for 35 years and currently run Sington Nursery in West Hampstead and Montpelier in Kentish Town.

Ruth Keppeler, Co-Chair of CCN said she was “delighted” at the opportunity to use the Acol building and open a new nursery providing daycare for under-fives.

“We are run by Camden parents for Camden children and families. We very much look forward to the prospect of venturing into new premises and working with current Acol users and new local families in the autumn,” she added.

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