Welsh parents blindsided by sudden nursery closure

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Parents in South Wales were blindsided this week when a local nursery was suddenly closed.

Over the weekend the owners of the building which housed the Treforest Day Nursery sent an email to parents to inform them the facility had been shut down.

The Welsh childcare sector has been branded as the ‘most fragile’ in the UK by the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA). However, the other British countries have also been struggling to keep such services running. In recent years childcare facilities have been closing down at an increasing rate and last year saw 156 centres were shut down, a sharp rise from the 85 which closed in 2015.

By contrast this site was privately run and not part of the publicly funded ‘Sure Start’ system. This closure was not mandated by the government but was apparently repossessed as a result of a dispute about the rent.

Treforest Day director Samantha Harvey then emailed the parents on Monday to explain the situation further. Harvey said that the locks on the building had been changed “with no warning or notice” to staff as a result of the disagreement with the landlords.

She wrote that she had been “bombarded with many texts, emails, Facebook messages and phone calls from many of you who are upset, angry and confused which I can rightly so understand”. Harvey insisted the matter had been taken out of her hands and she could “only apologise for the stress and upset this must be causing” the parents and children.

Speaking anonymously to Wales Online, one of the affected parents said they had been left “high and dry” by the sudden closure. While they were lucky enough to have a friend volunteer to look after their children at first they have “no idea what we are going to do in the long term”. Parents were “scrambling around trying to make other arrangements” as a result of the lack of notice, they explained.

One mother not only said she and her husband had been left in “a difficult and highly stressful situation” but she was also concerned for the “at least 20 people working there who have all lost their jobs and it’s absolutely heartbreaking to think they had no warning this was happening”.

Earlier this month, NDNA Chief Executive Purnima Tanuku claimed that the number of places in Welsh private nurseries like this one was “not high enough for the sector to thrive”. She warned that if the trend does not change “there’s a real danger they won’t be a private nursery sector in Wales”.

Photo by Jean-Michel Royer via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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