Nursery set to close after 32 years

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Springlands Nursery in Colchester, which has been established for the last 32 years, is now set to close because of crippling costs and unhelpful government policies.

Unless a private operator can be found, the nursery will close in 6 weeks’ time.

The principle of the nursery, Catherine House, has said that nurseries around the country were struggling with cash flow because of things like the National Living Wage, workplace pensions, the cost of background checks and removal of small business relief for sick leave.

Ms House said: “During the current political and economic crisis, we cannot keep up the high standards of Springlands Nursery. We are struggling financially and we believe it is unacceptable to cut any more of our services, we know nursery education has an impact on adult life and their well-being, so the standard of our education is not what they deserve.”

Originally, the nursery was going to see a 50% rise in business rates, when the Government changes came into force in April. But now parents and staff have been informed of the impending closure.

There have been other problems for the nursery, like being unable to find suitable staff because of a national skills shortage. The wages for senior staff also remain static.

Ms House added: “We will continue to be fully operational and professional until the end.”

Tara Hughes, a parent who has sent her children to the nursery for the past six years, has expressed how disappointed she was with the news. She said, “Many people have no idea how fantastic Springlands is, and what it has done for families over the years, it is devastating news for my family and for Colchester in general.”

Tracey Theobald, an administrator who has worked at the nursery for the past 24 years, has said how staff were shattered by the news but are determined to remain professional until their closing on 5th April.

Ms Theobald said: “We are all sad after so many children and families have blossomed here, including my own children. But the children will always come first and will continue to do so over the coming weeks.”

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