A Ramsgate nursery has suddenly shut down this week due to the cost of repairs to maintain the site.
A decision had already been made by management and trustees to close Children’s Nest nursery in School Place this July due to the site not attracting enough families.
But before parents could be informed of the decision the nursery was suddenly shut yesterday (March 9) after the cost of repairing toilets, drains and other areas was deemed too much to spend to keep it open for two more terms.
Children’s Nest had 42 little ones on the books .It was run by Thanet Early Years Project which is a small charitable organisation specialising in providing care and education to children under the age of 5 years. The aim is to provide services in areas of socio-economic deprivation.
Project manager Kim Hammond said the closure was made with ‘great sadness’ but added that some children have been placed in other nurseries.
She said: “Every years the Trustees strategically review the business and it was felt that Children’s Nest nursery was not flourishing where it was located.
“The plan was to close it in July and relocate. We were going to relocate the children and some of the staff to our Explorers nursery (at Priory Children’s Centre).
“Unfortunately just before we could notify parents that we would be shutting the nursery in July things happened. We had problems with the toilets which are obsolete and the garden flooding because of the drains. It would have meant throwing a lot of money at it and we are just a not-for-profit charity. It meant we had to shut early.”
The decision to close the site was made on Monday. Mrs Hammond says on Tuesday parents were called, follow up emails have been sent and places offered at the Explorers nursery. Once those places were taken remaining parents were directed to other nurseries and offered booking forms for first choice of nursery and sessions in September once some of the youngsters had moved on to schools.
However some families say their children now do not have a placement. One person said: “The main office for early years is above the nursery and moved to another site so it seems they knew this was going to happen and they haven’t pre-warned any parents. For this to happen in a holiday term means parents haven’t been given any chance to relocate or arrange things, leaving children who are due to start school quite soon without a placement. By failing to give notice they have taken no consideration of the children’s wellbeing.”
Mrs Hammond said: “There is no more we could have done. We have done everything possible to accommodate the children, even signposting parents to our competitors. It is very sad.
“Although we weren’t able to offer spaces to everyone we have given out booking forms and would love to welcome them back in September with first refusal of nurseries and hours.”
Thanet Early Years Project has redeployed staff and is also seeking another premises to reopen another nursery.
It is understood a complaint has been made to Ofsted.