PARENTS whose children attend a Bradford children's centre are fighting plans to shut the its "baby room," meaning they have only a matter of weeks to find new places for their youngsters.

Some mothers even fear they will have to quit their jobs if they are not able to find alternate childcare.

Woodroyd Children's Centre in West Bowling is one of several Sure Start centres in the city, and offers a child care facility for under twos. But late last month parents were sent a letter to say that the baby care unit will shut on August 29.

They say they have been told the reason given by the centre was low demand, but claim there was little to no consultation with parents.

A petition, "Don't close Woodroyd nursery baby room" has been started on Bradford Council's website.

It states: "We want the senior management team at the centre to withdraw the notice given to parents and keep the baby room open. This will allow interested parties to come together and look at options for keeping this service within the nursery and children's centre."

Sure start centres were set up in the 1990s by the Government, mainly in deprived areas, to provide children with the best possible start in life. Although some parents are entitled to free care, others pay to use the centre.

Helen Davies, lives near the centre and has two children who attend the under two facility.

She said: "They only gave parents one month's notice. There are no other similar child care facilities near me that I would be able to get to with a double pushchair. A private day nursery would cost me another £100 a month. I've spoken to other parents about this, and one told me she was having to hand her notice in at work because she had nowhere to put her children. This goes against everything Sure Start centres were set up for, they should be about helping parents and children."

She said with one of her sons being seven months old and the other still a few weeks away from turning two, she was not sure where they would be going once the facility shuts. She added: "At the moment I am just stuck in limbo, it breaks my heart."

When the Telegraph & Argus contacted the centre it declined to comment.

Councillor Ralph Berry, head of children's services at Bradford Council, said: "I understand there are pressures and ratios of staff and children need to be met, but clearly the centre needs to talk with the parents concerned to let them know what alternate provisions are available."