CONCERNS surrounding the future of nurseries have been shared by Matt Rodda MP.

The three maintained nurseries in his Reading East constituency are all rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted.

These have proven to be a vital outlet, particularly in disadvantaged areas with deprived families.

However, 12 state-maintained nurseries have been forced to close since 2016 and last year saw the highest number of closures in a decade.

Mr Rodda spoke at a debate in the House of Commons to share his concerns.

He said: "I want to give some of the context for Reading, because it helps us to understand the particular pressure caused by the combination of deprivation and a high-cost area.

"It can be a very worrying combination for nursery schools and other parts of the public sector.

"[The] debate should have a real impact… As we have heard, our nursery schools are a vital asset to our community.

"I urge the Minister to do everything that he can to raise this point with the Treasury.

He ended by inviting the Minister for Children and Families, Nadhim Zahawi MP, to meet with him and discuss the problems facing Reading nurseries in person.

Following the debate in Parliament, Mr Rodda and other cross-party MPs presented a public petition to the House of Commons to guarantee funding for maintained nursery schools after 2020.