Shock closure of nursery site

Parents have been given six weeks to find new childcare after the closure of an outstanding charity nursery.
Parents have been given six weeks to find new childcare after the closure of an outstanding charity nursery.
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Parents have been given six weeks to find new childcare after the closure of an ‘outstanding’ charity nursery.

The Legacy Nursery, which was set up in 2012 to help provide funding for Rainbow House in Mawdesley, will close on August 31 after changes in funding and new legislation caused it to become unprofitable.

It is understood that parents of all 73 children currently enrolled - both with disabilities and not - are now being supported to find alternative arrangements if necessary, but it is not known how many of the 14 staff will lose their jobs.

The board of directors released a statement saying they were “very sorry” to have to make the decision, but were instead looking at developing a new Early Years unit focused on children with disabilities.

The statement said: “In spite of best efforts, it is not viable to continue as it has not been possible to make the nursery profitable enough to deliver against the original aim, when it was set up, of providing funding for the Rainbow House charity to assist with the provision of the core objective of providing conductive education services for children with disabilities.

“The ethos of the Rainbow House charity is to focus on children with disabilities and this will be the objective going forward with the aim of making Rainbow House a centre of excellence for children and young people with neurological and physical conditions.

“All parents of children and babies currently attending the nursery have been advised and everything possible will be done to assist them in finding a suitable alternative.

“As part of the future services it is planned to develop an Early Years unit for babies and young children up to five years old with disabilities. The special needs children currently attending the nursery will be able to transfer to the Early Years unit if that is the wish of the parents.”

The nursery has been operated as a Community Interest Group since its inception, with no connection to the charity. In its first year, Carole Cochrane, chief executive of The Legacy Rainbow House, confirmed it had generated a “significant donation” to the charity, but in subsequent years this declined due to cuts in statutory funding.

The directors confirmed a consultation programme with staff has begun and it is hoped that some will be able to take up other roles at the centre.