Earlier this month, I wrote to the Chief Executive of Essex County Council, Gavin Jones on this subject and have since then received a response from Mr Jones.
In his response, Mr Jones assured me that Essex County Council have been working closely with the owners of Oaklea Montessori Nursery to find a way to keep the nursery open until a new childcare provider can be found to take over the running of this nursery provision and that meetings have taken place with parents.
Oaklea Montessori has been offered a sufficiency grant whilst work is undertaken to identify a new childcare provider in the hopes that this will allow enough time for a new provider to be identified and take over the nursery from the start of the Summer 2024 term. I am hopeful that local families should continue to be able to access their usual childcare during this period and will be seeking further updates closer to the summer term next year.
In addition, I am also aware that more childcare providers are facing significant financial sustainability issues across Essex and that this is also a wider national issue, with local authorities across the country reporting concerns to the Department for Education. As such, I have also written to the Minister regarding the wider difficulties facing childcare providers, urgently asking what the government plans to address this are.