It is understood that at least four private nurseries have been affected in the latest round of cuts by Glasgow City Council.
Council bosses say the cuts are due to three-year reviews of partnership nurseries, and insist they are not decreasing the number of available places for children in each area of the city.
Staff at Little Branches Nursery in Govan, which looks after 36 children, discovered they were to lose 20 places next term, cutting the number of places available to just 16.
It is thought they will have to get rid of up to three staff as a result.
The changes are to take effect from August, however, the nursery, run by Glasgow City Mission, closes tomorrow for the summer.
Volunteers and parents have slammed the council plans, saying it will be detrimental to the area and the children.
Manager Anne Scott was awarded a Community Champion award by the Evening Times just last week for her outstanding work.
Aileen White, a childminder who lives in Govan, sent her three children to the centre as well as four nieces and nephews.
The 44-year-old said: “We went in for the kids’ graduation yesterday and the chief executive of the Mission had to tell us that the funding had been cut.
“It will make a huge difference.
“We’ve got no clue what’s going to happen.
“I don’t know if the Mission could afford to keep it open if we only had 16 children there, they’ll lose £40,0000 with these 20 places, which is a huge amount for a charity.”
Mary Linton, a volunteer at the centre, said she was “very upset” by the news.
She said: “The parents are all devastated.
“It’s a wonderful nursery that not only the children but their parents have also come through.
“The parents’ choice has been taken away.”
It is also understood that nurseries in Cardonald, the West End and other South Side areas have been affected and some may have to close.
A council spokeswoman said the number of spaces available would not decreased and the cuts were due to the nurseries not meeting the required standard in assessments.
According to the council, places may be bought in other nurseries which have scored higher in the Care Inspectorate tests, or children could go to council-run nurseries, if they have enough space.