Eighteen staff are facing the loss of their jobs with the closure of Minster Day Nursery at the end of this month.
The nursery, which also provides an after school club, was founded in 1991 and has provided care for some three decades.
But sadly it will shut its doors on September 30 with staff understood to be working until that date without knowing whether there will be available funds to pay them.
The nursery, in Molineux Road next to the primary school, is registered with the Charity Commission. In accounts filed in May this year for the period up to July 2021, it says: “Over recent periods, the nursery has seen a growth in numbers of children coming in, however the impact of Covid-19 has meant that during the year ended 31 July 2021 the levels of children allowed into the nursery was restricted.”
The accounts show that income fell to £286.88k for the year compared to £361.39k the previous year. The charity also spent £341k meaning a shortfall of some £54k.
In a statement lodged with the charity commission it is revealed that the nursery had hoped to get back to full capacity, opening up three rooms again with resulting new jobs. It had also hoped to expand holiday clubs.
Parents have expressed upset over the closure and condolences for the kind and caring staff.
Last month ITV reported that the overall number of childcare providers in England dropped by around 4,000 between March 2021 and March 2022, the largest decline since 2016, according to figures from Ofsted.
In June Early Years Alliance chief executive Neil Leitch warned that the ‘sector (is) in crisis.’
He said: “We’ve been crying out for so long that things need to change, that the sector is in crisis, that we need to act now to ensure we are able to continue to provide the best possible care and education for our children and families, and yet, so little seems to change.”
The Minster Day Nursery committee said: “Since Covid, the number of children in both the nursery and the out of school club has decreased, despite much advertising and PR work, we have struggled to get the numbers back up to what they were prior to the two lock downs.
“With the rise in bills and the cost-of-living increases, combined with the decrease in income that we have tried to combat over the last few months; but we have reached the end of the road. We are unable to financially continue with the nursery as charity.
“Despite the best efforts of the staff and the management team, we have been left with no option but to close the doors to avoid accruing any further debt.
“The support and kind words that we have received since the original notification was sent to parents has been overwhelming.”
Manager Dawn Todd said: “The staff have worked tirelessly to make a success of the nursery, and as you can imagine, it is heart-breaking for us all to be in this situation.”
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Tamsin McCann added: “We are continuing to explore options to find someone to take the nursery on as business, as there is still a need for a nursery setting in the area.”
Minster Day Nursery and Out of School Club will close its doors, as it is, for the final time on September 30.