This was the post from Phil on the Parish Council Blog about the Nursery managed by First Place.
I’m sure many residents will be aware the nursery has closed, it’s owners, First Place, shut it down with 48hours notice. Please support those trying to reopen it – it’s a great nursery!
I’m still trying to get to the truth why it closed – the First Place won’t give me straight answers.
Shock as nursery closes suddenly From This is Gloucester.
Thursday, April 01, 2010, 10:04
Parents and staff at a nursery school have been left in shock after bosses announced its sudden closure.
Workers at the First Place Nursery, in Upper Rissington, were left in tears when they were informed of the news, which will leave them jobless.
Parents say they are outraged by the sudden nature of the closure – they were given less than 48 hours to find alternative care – and have demanded answers.
Lisa Sheppard, from Upper Rissington, whose daughter goes to the nursery, said: “Our lives have been turned upside down. It is a complete bombshell dropped on all concerned with no thought or consideration for the small children whose little worlds have been disrupted.”
The nursery currently has 40 children on its books, mostly between the ages of one and five, and employs 10 staff.
Mother-of-two Emma Roberts, 38, said: “We are furious about the situation. The nursery bosses have left us high and dry.
“Parents like me have been forced into a really difficult position. We now have to find other places for our children, which will mean we have to travel further to get there. It will create huge disruption.”
Emma, whose two children – Sam, two, and George, six – attend the nursery, hit out at bosses for not giving them more notice about the closure.
“They have gone about it in a really underhand way,” she said. “They must have known about this for some time, but we have found out less than 48 hours before it is due to close. It’s a complete disgrace.”
Lisa and Emma said the nursery had been rated “outstanding” in its most recent Ofsted report.
Parents will now be forced to enrol their children at alternative nurseries in the area, facing the prospect of driving 40 minutes to Cheltenham every morning.
Staff were reported to be in tears yesterday after receiving a letter informing them of the news.
One female worker, who did not want to be named, said: “We are all completely stunned by the news.
“We’re a very closely-knit community and none of us saw this coming.
“It is a devastating blow, not only to us but to the children who will be thrown into a totally different environment.”
Staff and parents vowed to join forces to save the nursery, but said they had not had enough time to mount a campaign.
Jan Harris, managing director of First Place Nurseries, issued a statement yesterday expressing regret about the closure.
She said: “We understand the disruption and upset this decision will cause to parents, but we have tried everything possible to avoid this situation.
“The nursery has never been able to attract enough numbers from the surrounding area for it to achieve financial viability.
“We have supported the organisation for the last five years in the hope that the local population would grow and be able to support the business, but it has continued to lose significant amounts of money since opening.”
She added the company had contacted its Cheltenham branch in Bath Road to offer displaced youngsters extended sessions and free lunch until the end of the summer term.