Salford City Council is exploring options to keep its five local authority day nurseries open by working with school provision.
A 30 day consultation is to be launched from Friday 7 September for the public to give their views on proposals.
Councillor Lisa Stone, Lead Member for Children’s and Young People’s Services at Salford City Council said: “We are now consulting on a proposal to retain the outstanding nursery provision in the city.
“We would like to consult on how local authority nurseries would be managed and operated by school provision in the city. And we need a conversation with residents to seek their views on this, so the formal consultation will take place.
“The passion from residents is clear and the nursery provision provided by the staff who work in them is outstanding, so we need to explore all options and explore the detail of how this would work using school provision.”
327 places are offered in the local authority nurseries out of 4,234 in a variety of early years providers. Over 2,000 of these places are available through schools in the city.
Councillor Stone continued: “We have already given a commitment to fund our five local authority nurseries to September 2019. But changes by the government on the way the Dedicated Schools Grant can be used mean the council can no longer afford the running costs of its nurseries. They cost £3 million each year to run but the council only receives £1.5 million in income from charges.
“Seven years of austerity have cut our core funding in half. That works out at £198 million since 2010 – or £60,000 out of our budget each and every day.”
The consultation will involve public meetings and also options for people to provide comments by post or online. It opens at 00:01 on Friday 7 September and can be viewed at www.salford.gov.uk/nurseryproposals