A petition has been launched to stop the planned closure of Kingston University (KU) Nursery.

As the Surrey Comet reported last month (April 23), parents who use the KU Nursery expressed their dismay after the university announced plans to end services at the popular nursery at the conclusion of this academic year.

Since then, parents and supporters who hope to pressure the university into keeping the nursery open have launched an online petition that has already attracted hundreds of signatories.

The petition was posted by parent and campaigner Helen Smith.

In the wording it says signatories are demanding the continuation of KU's Nursery to help support parents, students and staff who currently rely on the nursery.

"Kingston University Nursery, along with its Summer Play Scheme, deserves to be saved and considered part of KU's brighter future.

"We believe this is possible with new strategies, the right planning and of course the will of KU management," a statement posted online with the petition said.

The online petition allows signatories to post messages with their signatures, and many expressed their support for the nursery.

In one message posted Friday (May 3), a signatory said: "Childcare is massively important, and to have a dedicated place within the university is a positive boon..."

Another anonymous supporter of the petition said: "Parents should also have the right to study and the logistics of achieving this are massively supported through on site nursery provision."

Parents of children who go to the nursery have led the campaign to keep its services running, and responded swiftly after KU initially announced the potential closure on March 27.

In a letter written to KU and seen by the Surrey Comet, Ms Smith said that the nursery was a vital resource for many parents and children in the area.

"The Nursery has helped our daughter’s development immensely and she loves her time there, has formed strong, secure relationships with the staff, and with other children who also demonstrate that they are very happy, fulfilled and settled there.

"It is considered in high regard by all the parents whose children attend. The impact of the closure would be severe..."

KU meanwhile told the Comet that a consultation process with parents, students and staff linked to the nursery would continue before they made a final decision on the closure.

A spokesperson for KU said: "The proposal is subject to a 45-day internal consultation period with staff. The outcome of the consultation is due in May 2019.

"The nursery will continue to operate throughout the rest of this academic year until the end of the summer term, and children will continue to receive the same high level of childcare support."

In a statement from the university forwarded to the Surrey Comet last month, a KU spokesperson referenced the costs of running the nursery as one factor behind the planned closure.

"The costs of running the nursery have continued to rise in recent years and it has now been operating at a loss for some time," KU said.

To read KU's statement on the planned closure, go to: www.kingston.ac.uk/nursery/

To view the online petition against the closure of the KU nursery, go to: www.thepetitionsite.com/976/249/657/save-our-nursery/