Nursery lodges plan for baby cabin as demand for childcare increases

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PLANS to build a ‘baby cabin’ at a children’s nursery in Trinity have been lodged to provide more childcare spaces amid increasing demand.

Cheeky Monkeys at Durrell want to construct a timber cabin which could accommodate 12 babies and four members of staff.

Manager and director Juliet Pearmain said that demand for childcare places in Jersey had almost tripled since the Covid pandemic.

She said: ‘We propose an expansion of Cheeky Monkeys at Durrell nursery by having a log cabin constructed at the existing site.

‘The reason being that there is a clear shortage of childcare places on the Island. This cabin would be constructed in our current baby garden and staff parking area, to better utilise this rarely used space.’

Ms Pearmain said that Cheeky Monkeys had received 150 applications this year for spaces in their baby room, which caters for babies and toddlers up to two years old. The nursery currently has spaces for 12.

The proposed log cabin would be 55sq-m in size and would house an open-plan baby care area, changing area and a toilet, if approved.

It would also provide jobs for four new full-time members of staff, the application stated.

Cheeky Monkeys opened in October 2015, following the construction of a purpose-built nursery facility next to the Zoo.

In March, the government announced that it was bringing forward funding for nursery places for three- and four-year-olds to help parents and providers with rising costs.

At the time, Children, Education and Home Affairs Scrutiny Panel chair Deputy Catherine Curtis said: ‘The nursery sector is struggling to recruit and retain good staff and more support should help them in their objectives for offering the best training to their staff and managing their costs.’

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