Families devastated by shock closure of Sunderland nursery

Daisy Chain Nursery School at Grangetown Primary School.
Daisy Chain Nursery School at Grangetown Primary School.
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parents have been left searching for new childcare places after a cash-strapped nursery announced its closure.

Financial problems are forcing Daisy Chain Daycare, in Grangetown, to close the door on the 24 children.

One mum left in the lurch is Karen Cook, who was notified of the closure less than a week after her daughters, Kaidi, three, and 11-month-old Lily, started the nursery.

The 29-year-old from Hastings Street said: “I can’t believe it.

“We turned down a nursery place for Kaidi at Hill View Infant School because we needed somewhere that had out-of-school-hours care and where the two of them could be picked up and dropped off at the same place.”

Karen, who has started a course at Sunderland College with the aim of becoming a midwife, said: “The staff told us they had only heard the day before. I really don’t know what we are going to do now, it doesn’t give us much time to find somewhere else.”

Daisy Chain, which is part of Grangetown Primary School, provides day care for children aged between four months and five years old and there are currently 24 children attending on a part-time basis.

The governing body said despite its best efforts over the last four years they have sadly taken the decision to close.

Chairman of the governors, Sue Thomson, said the nursery was set up through Government funding in 2008, but has struggled to achieve financial sustainability.

She said: “The governing body believes that children’s welfare is paramount.

“We have maintained Daisy Chain for as long as possible, but the financial situation is extremely challenging and means it is simply is not sustainable.

“The local authority will support the day care setting by working with the parents, children and staff to identify alternative day care provision and provide a smooth transition for the children using the setting.”

Headteacher at Grangetown Primary, Les McAnaney, said: “The decision to close was not taken lightly.

“Governors gave the situation a very detailed examination. Daisy Chain is run as a business, but for some time has struggled financially.

“We guarantee that parents will be fully supported in finding alternative day care for their children”.

Sunderland City Council’s head of commissioning and change management for children’s services Beverley Scanlon added: “We share the school’s regret that Daisy Chain is no longer financially viable, but will continue to work hard with parents and teachers to find any children affected by the closure alternative daycare places within the community which are available.”

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