Parents last week spoke of their devastation after Horden Youth and Community Centre made the “sad decision” to close the nursery after it reported a spate of staff resignations since the start of the month.
The centre, however, is hopeful that the nursery – rated “good” by Ofsted in its last inspection – can reopen at a later date.
The new community centre statement now says: “Horden Youth & Community Centre and the board of trustees are acutely aware of the negative response to our recent announcement regarding the nursery.
Woman dies after being flown to hospital following collision on A690
Woman saved by passerby after Sunderland robber with genitals exposed dragged her down dark lane
Woman stabbed partner in row over cans of lager
Pizza restaurant extension refused after opponents and supporters clashed over proposals
Sunderland garden centre receives £125,000 from lottery fund to expand services for people with disabilities, learning difficulties and the vulnerable
"We fully understand why people are angry about this decision, but it has not been taken lightly or performed without due and appropriate diligence.
"We have been actively negotiating with Durham County Council and other relevant bodies to prevent this situation, but our hands are tied with regard to Charity Commission rules, Company and Employment legislation, and the requirements of DCC and Ofsted.
“We wish to assure the public that at all times, the actions of the board of trustees have been taken with the full co-operation of the relevant authorities and with due consideration for our legal responsibilities.
“This situation is, however, only the tip of the iceberg.”
The statement goes on to say that an investigation pre-dating the closure is ongoing although its nature cannot be publicly disclosed at this time.
It continues: “The board of trustees assure the public that once our investigation has been completed, and the relevant actions have been taken, a full public statement will be forthcoming.”
Meanwhile, Jim Murray, the head of education and skills at Durham County Council, has responded to the closure by saying: “We understand the majority of families affected by the closure of Horden Youth and Community Centre Nursery have found alternative provision in the area.
“Supporting those affected is our priority and we encourage those who are still seeking alternative childcare to visit www.countydurhamfamilies.info or to contact our Families Information Service on 03000 269595 or [email protected]”