Posted on 01/03/2012
We would like to update you on the progress we are making towards the provision of a workplace nursery, to increase the number of places available for staff and students, and to give staff the benefit of paying for childcare through salary sacrifice.
You may recall that last year, our plans faltered when a prospective property in Thorpe fell through. We then hoped to designate Nature’s Nursery in Ascot as our workplace nursery but then, in September, HMRC introduced a rule change which meant that, for a nursery to be designated as our workplace nursery, it should be run primarily for the benefit of our staff, and that we should have a significant stake in its operation and management. This ruled out the possibility of the Ascot nursery.
Since then, we have been reviewing our own estate and have now identified a space on campus for us to host a workplace nursery. We are now urgently seeking the necessary permissions in order to proceed quickly with this and open the new nursery as soon as possible.
Some of our staff currently use Little Echoes nursery, who have leased a property from us for a number of years. Since Royal Holloway staff are given only a minority of places at Little Echoes, and we do not participate in the nursery's management, it does not qualify to be designated as our workplace nursery. With this in mind, last summer, when the lease of the property occupied by Little Echoes expired, we informed them that we would extend it until December, and thereafter on a month by month basis, to allow them the time they needed to find alternative premises. We understand that they have now done so, and have informed their parents of their intention to move.
We very much hope that our new workplace nursery will be operational by the time Little Echoes relocates, and we hope that it will have sufficient places to accommodate not only Royal Holloway's staff and students’ children, but those from the local community too. However, since this is dependent on us securing the necessary permissions, we would like to help staff who are currently using Little Echoes to find an alternative should the new nursery not be ready in time. If you are currently using Little Echoes and do not have plans for your childcare beyond July please email
with the ages of your children and the days you require. Please also email Emm if you would like to be kept informed of progress towards the new nursery, and you are interested in registering your child/ren.
We hope that in the longer term, the new nursery will be a huge benefit for us, both in terms of the number of places available and the cost to staff. However, in the short term, we must endure some inevitable disruption, and we are working hard to support affected families through this period and get our new nursery up and running as quickly as we possibly can.