Earlham children’s centre seeks new home - but tells parents it will not close

Earlham Early Years Centre was judged 'outstanding' earlier this year. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Earlham Early Years Centre was judged 'outstanding' earlier this year. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A children's centre has told parents it will not close, despite uncertainty over its location after it was given notice to leave its current home.

Earlham Early Years Centre, on Cadge Road, leases part of the main building at Norwich Primary Academy (NPA), formerly Larkman Primary, but was given notice to leave in December because the school needed space for smaller class sizes.

The centre's head, Donna Chappell, said the school gave it generous notice, but it was now in limbo because of uncertainty caused by the recommissioning of Norfolk's children's centres next year.

On Wednesday, parents of the centre, which Ofsted rated 'outstanding' in March, heard it will move to a temporary base within Earlham Nursery School from August 1.

Ms Chappell said: 'We want to reassure parents there are no issues about closing. We are relocating to temporary premises, and when we know what the future looks like we will let them know, and they will have a role in the development of that.'

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She added: 'At the moment I'm worried about how we can maintain the quality and range of our services without having a space to do it from.'

NPA head Tessa Holledge said it has worked with Norfolk Property Services (NPS) to find alternative accommodation, and staff were 'doing what we can to ensure the invaluable provision the Sure Start centre provides local parents can continue'. She added: 'We have offered a significant part of the field on the NPA site back to NPS to build a new Sure Start centre.

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'While NPS finalises plans, we are ready to accommodate a temporary building on our car park for Sure Start centre staff.

'We have also offered use of our community rooms in the interim to allow parent groups to take place.'

Do you have an education story? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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