A CHILDREN’S nursery in Melksham has closed due to what it called a ‘staffing nightmare’, giving parents just 24 hours’ notice before shutting for good.
Little Joey’s Nursery, which was based at the Boomerang Family Play centre site in Bowerhill, closed on Friday 17th February, leaving parents to find alternative childcare. The nursery offered care for children aged from three months to four years.
Following the closure announcement, parents contacted other childcare providers in a bid to find alternative arrangements; some of which were full or unable to offer the sessions required. One local nursery told Melksham News “Once parents were notified of the closure, we were inundated with calls from worried parents looking for alternative provisions at short notice. We were able to take on some additional children.”
Owner of Little Joey’s Nursery, Gary Cooke said, “It wasn’t an easy decision, we were three staff members down due to various reasons and we just haven’t been able to employ good replacements. We’ve held interviews, but we just haven’t been able to employ suitable people. I can’t run a nursery with poor staff.
“It’s been a staffing nightmare and there is a real crisis of this in childcare. We have done everything possible to try and stay open, but it just wasn’t going to work. We gave staff the notice they needed and they were aware that we were probably going to have to close. We had a meeting to see if we could run the nursery in the following week, but it just wasn’t going to work. It was practically impossible.”
Little Joey’s Nursery opened eight and half years ago. In January this year, the nursery was inspected by Ofsted. The Ofsted report, published last week, shows the nursery was given an ‘inadequate’ rating in the following areas; the quality of education; behaviour and attitudes; personal development; leadership and management.