Staff enter formal consultations at Little Learners Nursery

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Nine core staff at Little Learners’ Nursery in Dunstaffnage are being formally consulted on the future of the business, which has been operated by Argyll College UHI for 15 years.

The college cited operational costs alongside logistical and managerial challenges among the reasons for the move. Attempts to find an alternative private operator have failed.

An Argyll College UHI spokesperson said: ‘With the college now located nearly five miles away [in Oban], Little Learners’ is no longer used by our staff or students to the same extent as it once was and therefore the level of financial subsidy required to run the facility is no longer justifiable for us.

‘Running the nursery has also increasingly posed logistical and managerial challenges for us in recent years and we find it no longer possible to justify maintaining it as a component in our educational offering.

‘We are aware of the value of the facility for children and parents alike, and have been working hard to find an alternative private operator for the nursery.

‘Sadly, these discussions have come to an end without a viable agreement being reached and reluctantly, the board of governors have agreed to
take this course of action.

‘Our primary duty is to provide high quality further and higher education and we hope the local community will understand that we must make this our priority in a challenging economic landscape.’

The college is now consulting with staff on the future of the business and college principal, Martin Jones, has extended an invitation to meet with parents of children currently attending the nursery.

‘No decision has yet been reached and if another way forward emerges, then we will examine it seriously,’ added the spokesperson.

Little Learners’ Nursery, originally opened in 2006 and is registered for up to 32 children.