defend hackney nurseries! fun day 30th may

From Feminist Fightback

Join us and Friends of Hackney Nurseries on Sunday 30th May, 11am-2pm at London Fields for fun, games and organising to save childcare provision!

At the end of April at least 8 community nurseries in Hackney were informed of immediate cuts in their budget of up to 60%, or about £50,000. This will mean the serious threat of nursery closures, and hardship and distress for parents, workers and children. The Learning Trust and Hackney Council are denying that there is a programme of cuts to nursery provision – so we want to know: Where has the money gone? How can nurseries keep running with such drastic cuts? Why are all the politicians and officers passing the buck and not answering our questions?

After previous successful fights against cuts to nurseries, Friends of Hackney Nurseries has re-activated to fight against cuts, and to fight for even more and better childcare provision locally. We are a group of parents, nursery workers, local residents and community activists who believe that quality childcare should be affordable and accessible to all. Childcare is a basic need for families – especially women. We need to provide childcare as a community – not isolated in our own homes. We need accessible, quality nurseries for all.

Friends of Hackney Nurseries are holding a FUNDAY on Sunday 30th May, 11am-2pm in London Fields. Come and enjoy a day out meeting other people who care about community childcare and show support for the campaign to resist cuts. There will be all sorts of activities for children including face painting, a raffle, lucky dip, banner making, story telling, and a teddy bears picnic.

Feminist Fightback has also circulated the below appeal, please forward.

Girls (and boys?) come out to play… Or, why the fight against nursery cuts must involve people of all genders.

In April a number of Hackney’s nurseries had serious and immediate cuts forced upon them without any explanation or prior consultation. Nursery workers, parents and community activists have already begun to organise against the cuts, coming together as Friends of Hackney Nurseries. Although people of all genders have contributed, so far the vast majority of those involved have been women.

There are good reasons why the struggle for better childcare might be led by women – childcare workers and primary carers are still predominantly female, and women in general are still the ones responsible for ‘picking up the tab’ when it comes to all forms of reproductive labour.

Whether we like it or not, it will be us as women who are most adversely affected by these cuts and our campaign for quality affordable childcare will have our interests as women at the centre of it.

We want to make sure, however, that saving Hackney’s nurseries doesn’t become just another job for the girls. Attacks on childcare provision are everybody’s problem, and they need to be actively resisted by the entirety of our movement – ‘single’ people as well as parents, men as well as women. These nursery cuts are part of wider attacks on our public services, designed to take back even the small gains fought hard for by working people over the last century. We think that struggles around childcare and other forms of domestic labour have for too long been considered outside the realm of the political. We are calling on the male-dominated Left to take this campaign seriously, and to join us today and in the future – not just to defend existing and unsatisfactory public services but to fight for a better way to organise our society and our lives.

Some things you can do right now:
• Sign the petition www.petitiononline.com/fhn/petition.html
• Come along to the Funday on Sunday 30th May (11am-2pm in London Fields), or to help leaflet for it meet 4pm Saturday 22nd May outside Hackney Town Hall (call 07890 209479).

For more information on the campaign and how to get involved go to
http://friendsofhackneynurseries.wordpress.com/