Norfolk

Great Yarmouth Community Trust: Parents 'panicking' over nursery closures

Rosie Barkes and Ardyn Image copyright Rosie Barkes
Image caption Rosie Barkes said she was "panicking" about finding a new nursery place for her two-year-old son Ardyn

Parents say they are "panicking" at having to find new childcare places after a chain of nurseries shut.

Great Yarmouth Community Trust went into liquidation on Wednesday - affecting 450 families.

Rosie Barkes, whose son Ardyn was at a nursery in Lowestoft, said parents had been given no warning and added it could affect her ability to work.

Norfolk and Suffolk county councils said they were working to reopen the nurseries or provide alternatives.

Some 136 staff are also facing redundancy following the closure of the centres across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Ms Barkes, whose two-year-old son attends Ladybird Day Care said: "I'm panicking because I'm not sure I'm going to be able to find a new place for him."

She added all affected parents would be "competing for the same places".

"If I can't find a new place for him I might not be able to go back to work after maternity leave."

'So sad'

Another parent, Abbi Marysia, said on the nursery's Facebook page: "Both my children will be upset. Thinking of all the staff at this hard time."

Jayde Foxon, a parent of a child at Seagulls Day Nursery in Gorleston, said on Facebook: "My child was meant to have a play session tomorrow. This is so sad - why wasn't anyone told...?"

Sabina Hill turned up to drop her daughter at Priory Day Nursery in Great Yarmouth on Thursday to find it shut.

"I've not had any information, any text, nothing to tell me that she couldn't go in today," she said.

"I'm now going to have to try to find a new nursery and put her in it within the next few days."

Andrew Kelsall, who is overseeing the liquidation of the trust, said workers would have to apply to the Redundancy Payments Service for their wages, which they had been due to receive on Wednesday.

The affected nurseries are:

  • Calthorpe Nursery, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
  • Little Blossoms Nursery, Filby, Norfolk
  • Ladybird Day Care at Kirkley Children's Centre, Lowestoft, Suffolk
  • Little Ducks Day Nursery, Lowestoft
  • Peggotty Nursery, Great Yarmouth
  • Priory Day Nursery, Great Yarmouth
  • Seagulls Day Nursery, Gorleston, Norfolk
  • Willow Day Nursery, Great Yarmouth

The independent school Horatio House in Lowestoft and Nexus Engineering in Gorleston, both run by the trust, have also closed.

Have you been affected by the trust's closure? To get in touch, email eastofenglandnews@bbc.co.uk or find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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