A nursery in Bexhill will be closing later this year, it has been revealed.
The owners of 1st Friends Day Nursery, in Barrack Road, said they made the ‘sad decision’ to close their Bexhill site due to the Government’s introduction of 30 hours funding – where parents can claim up to 30 hours of free childcare a week.
Suzanne Pigott, director at the Bexhill nursery, confirmed the closure.
She said: “I can confirm we are closing the nursery, this is due to 30 hours funding having a financial impact on the business. This was introduced in September 2017 and the funding paid from has been significantly less than our hourly rates.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff for their hard work and loyalty, we would like to wish them all the best for the future, and thank all the parents that have supported us.”
The nursery, which was acquired by 1st Friends Day Nursery in 2005, will remain open until Christmas ‘dependent on staff’ numbers.
In a letter sent to parents, and seen by the Bexhill Observer, the nursery said: “It is with deepest regret and sorrow that we have to inform you that we have made the sad decision to close 1st Friends Day Nursery site in Bexhill.
“This has not been an easy decision to make but with lower number of children and increasing running costs we can no longer afford to keep the nursery running.
“We were hoping numbers would pick up again for September but unfortunately that has not happened. Over the last few years we have invested over a hundred and fifty thousand pounds in keeping the nursery running. We had a push this year to get the garden finished, building repainted and roof repaired all in the hope that it would get the message out that we are still open for business.
“Our plan is to stay open until Christmas but that is dependant on staff. The staff have been informed and are actively looking for new jobs. As long as we stay in staff child ratio, we will remain open until that date. As soon as we can no longer maintain that and for your child/children’s safety then we will close the doors.”
1st Friends Day Nursery received a good Ofsted rating in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2014.
It operates from an old Wesleyan chapel and has five rooms for children, including a library and a messy room for arts and crafts.
1st Friends Day Nursery also runs a nursery and health club in Gillingham, Kent.