The Bar Council has discontinued a pioneering nursery service after four years, despite a decades-old campaign to set up a facility to support working parents at the bar.

The nursery, at West Smithfield, London, opened in 2013 after a campaign that dated back to the 1970s.

It offered childcare facilities at special rates for all members of the bar, chambers staff and Bar Council employees. It was open to children aged eight weeks to five years between 7am and 7pm, five days a week.

However, a Bar Council spokesperson confirmed today it had been scrapped. The spokesperson said that the nursery, which is also shared by children of non-barristers, had become oversubscribed. They added that the council is exploring other ways to support barristers with childcare responsibilities.

‘While the nursery is full, it will continue to honour the special rates agreed with the Bar Council for barrister parents and carers whose children are currently enrolled at Smithfield House,’ the spokesperson said.

The Bar Council still offers the Tiny Tree Nursery partnership in Leeds which offers spaces for children from 6 weeks to 5 years, and for school-aged children during summer holidays.