FOR 40 years, One World has been providing care to the children of both those who work and study at the university, as well as reopening to the local community in 2010.

In 2020, One World's sister nursery, The Phoenix Nursery, closed its doors but with the commitment that one site, One World, would remain open.

The university cites the closure as a response to fiscal needs. While we recognise the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on all public services, and particularly on the university's budget, we want to highlight the role this nursery plays in the community and celebrate this provision.

Research by the National Union of Students found that seven per cent of full-time and more than a third of part-time students are parents.

The nursery not only supports a diverse participation in higher education, with particular support for parents who are seeking to complete a course of study, but also fulfils the "Widening Participation" goal of encouraging access to education from broader groups in society.

One World supports children in the local area, enabling them to flourish and prosper, and also has an excellent track record in serving staff and local residents alike.

The aim of Widening Participation to university of students from all walks of life stresses the importance of universities making links to the local community. The impact of children from the local area accessing high quality care, in this setting, cannot therefore be under-estimated.

In particular, as a Centre of Excellence, we believe One World also offers a beacon of best practice to students who are learning principles of equality of access, early years education or teaching as part of their course - as it has done for many years. This offer is something the whole community can be proud of.

One World is also a "nursery of sanctuary" supporting refugee children. This important element of the nursery's offer also formed part of the university's Athena Swan submission, highlighting the university's dedication to equalities. We are committed to celebrating Brighton and Hove as a City of Sanctuary - and want to see the nursery stay open to vulnerable children.

Engaging with the community through the nursery connects the university to the wider world. We are clear that the University of Brighton plays a social, economic and cultural role in the city, and One World's childcare to our community is a part of this.

The umbrella body Universities UK describes meeting the needs of the community as "one of the core aims of UK higher education". We are therefore extremely concerned to see the loss of this provision, and join calls on the university urging them to reconsider, in light of the role the nursery plays in supporting our city to thrive.

Cllr Zoë John

Deputy chairwoman, children, young people and skills committee

On behalf of the Green group of councillors

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