Nursery confirms closure following financial battle

Woodside One Neighbourhood Nursery in Woodside Road, Norwich, which is closing because of financial struggles

Woodside One Neighbourhood Nursery in Heartsease, Norwich, is closing because of financial struggles according to county councillor John Fisher (pictured) - Credit: Kate Oakley/Norfolk County Council

A nursery will shut this summer due to money troubles leaving parents "gutted".

Woodside One Neighbourhood Nursery in Woodside Road is run by Norfolk County Council and will open for the final day on August 31.

John Fisher, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for children's services.

John Fisher, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for children's services. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

Conservative county councillor John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services, thanked staff and parents for their support,

He said: “Woodside One is losing money and struggling to recruit staff. This means business isn’t viable and we had to make the difficult decision to close."

The nursery currently employs 16 staff and has 74 children aged two, three and four - 29 of which will start school in September.

Mr Fisher added: "I understand this is an upsetting decision for staff and families and we will doing everything we can to support them, including helping parents find alternative childcare.

"We know there are lots of childcare providers locally with spaces available and will be supporting families to find other places.

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"I am sorry if this has caused worry. To minimise the impact, we have planned the closure for the end of the summer term, when many of the children will be moving on to primary school."

A council spokeswoman said the nursery was predicted to make a loss of more than £70,000 this year.

She added efforts were made to keep it open including increasing fees, reducing expenditure and the closure of the baby room in February.

Stacy Lane with her two-year-old daughter Amelia

Stacy Lane with her two-year-old daughter Amelia - Credit: Stacy Lane

Nurse Stacy Lane, 35, from the Heartsease, was "stunned and gutted" after hearing the news from nursery management about the closure.

Mrs Lane, whose two-year-old daughter Amelia attends the nursery, said: "It is a horrible situation. Staff at the nursery adore the children. The kids love going. It is an added stress parents do not need."

She added the childcare places were hard to find and some early years settings did not have space until next year.

Woodside One Neighbourhood Nursery. Picture: Kate Oakley

Woodside One Neighbourhood Nursery in Woodside Road, Norwich - Credit: Kate Oakley

Adam Giles, Labour city councillor, said: “I am concerned about the council’s decision to close our nursery in Heartsease.

"Childcare is becoming increasingly unavailable and unaffordable for hard-working parents.

"Short-sighted decisions such as this will lock parents, already suffering a cost of living crisis, out of work and deny children the opportunity in their critical early years."