Parents said they have been left ‘devastated’ after a nursery announced the closure of a popular children’s club due to government rule changes.
Youngsters who attend the Duckling Club at Fairfield Children’s Centre in Accrington will now have to find a new place by August 31.
From September 2014 more youngsters in England will be eligible for free early education, putting pressure on other places.
Nursery bosses said changes by the government to allow two-year-olds up to 15 nursery hours a week means the centre won’t have ‘sufficient space’ to carry on running the club.
The Duckling Club is a charity run on a voluntary basis by members of the centre’s staff and people from the local community.
It provides day care and education to children up to the age of five.
Karen Allan, whose daughter Niamh, two, has attended the club for more than a year, said it ‘feels like we’re being evicted’.
The 28-year-old travel agent, of Lord Street, Oswaldtwistle, said: “It’s devastating for the children.
“They have got all their friends there and carers who have done a fantastic job. Every child deserves a chance to go to nursery but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the children already there.”
Kate Nuttall’s 20-month-old son Tommy Aspin also attends the Duckling Club and follows on from his six-year-old brother, Bailey Aspin.
Kate, 28, from Oswaldtwistle, said she has taken Tommy out to join a new nursery.
She said: “We feel that all children should be treated the same.
“I went there as a child when it was Spring Hill Nursery and all our family has been.
“It’s such a shame these changes are about to happen.
“I now have to drive my son to a nursery 30 minutes away.
“When he comes to go to school he won’t know anybody as he wouldn’t have gone from the nursery with five or six other children.”
The nursery said parents were given five months’ notice of the changes and the decision ‘had not been reached lightly’.
Liz Klavins, headteacher at the Fairfield Nursery and Children’s Centre, said: “Owing to government changes, which mean that two-year-olds will be able to attend nursery for up to 15 hours a week, the centre won’t have sufficient space for the club to continue running.
“The club will therefore close on August 31.
“However, the charity’s trustees are exploring options for the charity to continue to meet its original aim of providing support to children.”