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Parents helped to find new nurseries
SWINDON Council has helped parents to find new places for their toddlers after four Swindon nurseries closed suddenly on Monday.
Headstarts Day Nursery, owned by Sara Vare, ran six nurseries in Swindon, Newbury and Basingstoke and on Monday at 6pm, all these nurseries closed without warning or explanation to parents.
Staff told parents the closure was because the owner’s licence had been revoked.
Since the news, the council has been helping parents to find new provisions for their children, and have confirmed that all the children the council provides funding for have been settled into new places.
A Swindon Council spokesman said: “We believe there is enough capacity to offer the vast majority of the 52 children who attended the Eldene and Moredon Headstarts nurseries alternative childcare places.
“A further 25 children received early education funding in Westlea.
“Although there is a shortage of available childcare provision in West Swindon, we have been contacted by a pre-school in the area who are considering opening additional sessions to accommodate as many children as possible.
“We only have information about those children who are eligible for funding as any remaining children will be on private contracts.
“If parents have been affected by the nursery closures and would like advice and support on what childcare provision is available, they can contact our Family Information Service.”
South Swindon MP Robert Buckland has joined the parents demanding answers to why the nurseries were closed so suddenly.
He is trying to contact the owner of Headstarts Nursery to find out what happened.
He said: “It’s just so unfair on the parents and their children.
“Everybody’s got ready for the autumn and children have just started and I can imagine just how upset parents are.
“The organisation should have been kept open until the October half-term to allow parents time to find an alternative provision.
“I am happy to speak to parents about this and do as much as I can to help them.”
The Adver was unable to speak to any members of staff at the nurseries, but an answerphone message left at the Delta Business Park nursery explained how the owner had lost her licence to run the nursery.
It said: “Unfortunately with immediate effect as of Monday 16th September at 6pm the nursery is no longer open.
“Unfortunately, Ofsted has taken the registration away from the owner with immediate effect.”
But Ofsted denied being responsible for closing down the nurseries, and instead said Headstarts Nursery had contacted them to inform them that they would close down.
Parents can access information online at www.swindon.gov.uk/fis, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 01793 445500.
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