Sunflower House nursery told to leave its Shrewsbury home

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Leila (left) and Ella (right)Image source, Family
Image caption,
Leila and Ella are among the children affected by the closure

A nursery in Shropshire has been told it must find a new home, leaving the families of nearly 100 youngsters uncertain about their future childcare.

Shropshire Council is ending Sunflower House Day Nursery's lease at Kendal Road, Shrewsbury, and turning the whole building into a children's centre.

The authority said it was working with the nursery and confident it would help to find it new premises.

But families said they were "gutted" by the decision.

Kerry Owen, area manager for Hazles Farm Childcare, which runs the nursery, said the group was "not fully informed" about a council-run consultation last year.

She said the move, which gives the company until 2 September to leave the building, affected 97 children, adding staff and parents were planning a petition.

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Staff at Sunflower House Day Nursery have been caring for children for 15 years

Joanna, whose daughters Ella, three, and 18-month-old Leila attend Sunflower House, said she had filled in a questionnaire as part of the consultation.

"We have been left in a position where we don't know whether to find a new nursery straight away or wait and see what happens.

"The risk, if we wait, is being with left no nursery which we can't have. Both me and my husband work."

Three-year-old Emily, who has Down's syndrome, also goes to the nursery and her mother Tracy said its staff were "fantastic".

"The fact it might close, we might have to change nurseries and find somewhere else, is absolutely gutting," she said.

Image source, Family
Image caption,
Tracy said she was concerned about the disruption the change may have on her daughter Emily

Sunflower House is on the ground floor of the building, which also houses a Sure Start centre. The council now wants to use the whole premises.

Karen Bradshaw, Shropshire Council's director of children's services, said the site would be one of seven children's centre hubs.

"We're very happy to work with them [Hazles Farm Childcare] to find an alternative venue for the nursery," she said.

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