The fight is on to save a Selsdon nursery that helps pregnant teenagers and schoolgirl mums.

Cotelands Nursery, which is located on the site of John Ruskin College, is being forced to close at the end of this academic year due to the loss of a £120,000 a year ‘Care to Learn’ government grant that was originally designed to encourage teenage mums to get back into education in South Croydon and New Addington.

Now a Justgiving page has been set up in the hopes of raising the money needed to keep the nursery open.

Eleanor Simmonds, who has managed the nursery for 12 years said it would be a big loss for the community if Cotelands was to close.

"It’s very different to a normal nursery," she said.

"It’s a unique environment where we can guide both the parent and their child.

"All of our staff are specialists at supporting teenage parents.

"With the intervention of our specialist team, the babies and toddlers in our care are coming out above average for development most of the time.

"Every child who comes in is given a ‘key person’ who's role it is to develop a personal relationship with the parent and the child."

It is believed the closure will have a "massive" impact on dozens of families because as well as caring for children from birth to the age of three, staff offer emotional and medical support for mums who are returning to education.

That thought is echoed by the fact that in its latest Ofsted report in 2014, the nursery was rated as 'outstanding'.

"It’s highly personal and staff are trained to do almost everything to support the child and the parent, with information, organisation, practical help and simply a cup of tea," Ms Simmonds said.

"We help them buy things for their babies, like baby powder and the right food.

"As the parents are in college they miss out on clinic appointments so we have a health visitor come in to weigh the babies and other checks here."

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