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Where is my pay?
A NURSERYworker who was laid off after it closed suddenly last month is still waiting to be paid her wages in full.
Headstarts Day Nursery, owned by Sara Vare, ran six nurseries in Swindon, Newbury and Basingstoke.
On September 16 all of them closed without warning or explanation, although staff told parents the closure was because the owner’s licence had been revoked.
All staff got a letter from Sara, telling them that, although they were unemployed with immediate effect, they would be paid up to October 15, with money going into their accounts at the beginning of the month.
But when childcare apprentice Evie Speck, of Covingham, finally received her payslip, a week later than her colleagues, she found she had been paid only to September 23.
Evie, 19, said: “I got a letter from the owner, Sara Vare, when it all shut down. She said that for the whole of September, I would get paid; and up to October 15, I would get paid, and it would go into my account by October 1.
“On October 1 I texted everyone to see if they had been paid and everyone said that they had been. But, when I checked my account, I realised that I hadn’t been.
“When, on Saturday, the money went through and I got my payslip, I was devastated to find out I had only been paid to September 23.”
When Evie told her manager, she was informed that it was no longer her concern and she would have to contact the owner directly.
However, the manager refused to give Evie a telephone number where she could reach Sara Vare.
Evie, who is completing qualifications with Chiltern College at Alexander House, Fleming Way, now has a position at Playsteps.
She said: “I just don’t know what to do. I have rent and bills to pay and it means that my boyfriend and I will have to move back into his parents’ home.”
The council has been helping parents find alternative childcare and confirmed that all the children it provided funding for had been settled at new places.
The Adver was unable to speak to the owner, but, in a letter to parents, posted on the window of the nursery at Eldene, Sara Vare said: “I would like to take this opportunity, as the owner of Headstarts Nursery, to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the sudden closure of the nursery.
“There have been a number of factors that have forced the closure of the nursery with immediate effect.
“This has been a particularly unfortunate and distressing situation for all the staff and I thank you for your patience and understanding.”
An answer machine message at the Delta BS Park nursery explained the owner had lost her licence to run the nurseries.
It said: “Unfortunately, with immediate effect, as of Monday, September 16, at 6pm, the nursery is no longer open. Unfortunately, Ofsted has taken the registration away from the owner.”
However, Ofsted denied being responsible for closing the nurseries and said Headstarts Nursery had contacted it to inform inspectors that it was to close.