Battersea Park One O'clock Club could become café
Battersea Park One O'clock Club could be turned into a café under Wandsworth Council proposals.
Five one o'clock club buildings could become nurseries to make way for 1,800 early-years care places the council has to provide under new government legislation.
New policy is making it obligatory for local authorities to provide disadvantaged two-year-olds with 15 hours of free childcare a week.
The council has said the one o'clock clubs are the only suitable buildings they can use, with hopes to maintain the drop in sessions when they are not being used as nurseries.
A council paper lists Bolingbroke One O’Clock Centre, Windmill One O’Clock Centre and Coronation Gardens One O’Clock Centre as sites which could become nurseries.
King George's One O’Clock Centre and Fontley Way One O’Clock Centre would also be used.
Battersea Park One O’Clock Centre is listed as a site which does not serve disadvantaged children and would be used as a concession to the playground instead, such as a café.
There will be 14 remaining stay-and-play sessions, as well as playgroups and children centres ran by the voluntary sector.
Councillor Kathey Tracey, cabinet member for children's services, said: "Providing so many nursery places this quickly is a real challenge for the town hall and it means that we have had to look at making changes to our network of one o’clock clubs.
"These are the only suitable Ofsted-approved buildings we have that can be used to provide these important new childcare services."
Alex Sykes, 34, community manager of Made For Mums Wandsworth, described the one o'clock clubs as essential for new parents.
She said: "They have always served as community hubs to access other services. For a lot of mums they are a lifeline, especially when you have got a small baby and you are feeling isolated."
A petition to keep the centres has gained 935 signatures.
Councillors will discuss the proposals on February 12 at the children's services scrutiny committee meeting.