An agreement has been reached with an external childcare provider to ensure childcare on campus for the next academic year. Photo: Polina Belehhova

The future of nursery and pre-school provision  on campus is nearly secure after an agreement was reached with an external childcare provider. The University has been in talks with Mid Counties Co-op that should secure the operation of the nursing and pre-school operations on campus.

Charles Dudley, the director of Residential, Sport and Trading services said that “the Co-op has recently grown its childcare operation, becoming one of the top 10 providers in the UK. A location at the the University of Sussex will be a very positive development for them and for the university.

“The values and approach which the Co-op takes to their work fits very well with Sussex”.

A number of discussions had taken place with with other providers but eventually a decision was made to go with Co-op after Council (the universities governing body) said that all trading services, including childcare facilities, must cover costs.

The news has been welcomed by students and staff alike. One student said “I am happy that the university is able to provide me with childcare throughout the academic year 2011/2012.

“It is very reassuring. There was time when talks were being held that I thought I may have to arrange my own childcare which would have been a great disruption to my studies. Thank goodness it has been sorted”.

Discussions had been held with a number of childcare providers to see who could offer the best service at the best price.  This was overseen by the childcare review board. There was a slight setback when an initial positive engagement with another provider ended in February when the company withdrew.

All that is required now is that discussions take place with the relevant recognised trade unions which is required by regulations for the Transfer of Undertakings.

If this all goes well then childcare at University of Sussex will be assured for at least the next academic year.

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