Parents left furious over nursery closure in Sidcup
Mums and dads pitched up at Mapalim day nursery, based in North Cray Community Centre in Bedens Road, only to be told it had shut- with immediate effect
PARENTS were left furious in Sidcup last Thursday when their children’s nursery was unexpectedly closed without even 24-hours notice.
Around 40 mums and dads pitched up at Mapalim day nursery, based in North Cray Community Centre in Bedens Road, only to be told it had shut- with immediate effect.
Tearful staff who look after the 62 nursery children, aged up to five years old, said they had only been told the news the night before.
Speaking at the scene, parent Leila Lawton, 31, of Berdett Close, Sidcup said the sudden closure had put parents in an extremely awkward position.
The dementia advisor, whose two-year-old daughter, Mariah attends the nursery, said: "I’m lost for words.
"Every parent is trying to get to work.
"It’s put us in a very difficult situation with our employers. We were given no notice.
"The impact is massive.
"What will we do with our children?"
Mrs Lawton says she is worried she could also be out of pocket after shelling out £940 for the next five weeks for childcare at the nursery.
She said: "They’ve taken my money and I don’t even know if I’m going to get it back."
Fellow parent Emma Giddings, whose 4-year-old son Lewis attends the nursery, was also upset.
The 38-year-old said: "I’m a social work student and I was hoping to do some placements over the summer but now I won’t be able to do that anymore.
"Angry is an understatement.
"The staff here are fantastic and they are very dedicated. The way everyone has been treated is awful."
Parents waited more than three hours for owner of the nursery, Patrick Foster to arrive and explain the situation.
But when he finally showed up, he was unable to offer any explanation.
Facing angry parents, he said: "I have put £50,000 into this provision since March and I’m not prepared to put in any more.
"I do not see why I should be funding your children’s care."
News Shopper tried to contact Mr Foster for a comment but he was unavailable.
We also asked Bexley Council how much it charges Mapalim day nursery to use the facility but were told this information was "commercially sensitive".
Bexley Council said it was shocked to hear of the closure
A BEXLEY Council spokesman said: "We were not aware of any problems and were shocked to hear late on June 27 that Mapalim Limited, a private day nursery, had taken the decision to close with immediate effect.
"The owner signed a revised lease for the premises earlier this year and providers are normally selected following a tendering exercise.
"The council will be looking into the issue of parents who have paid in advance and now face having to pay again for childcare.
"We will look to see if there is anything that can be agreed with any new provider.
"There are spaces available for nursery age children in the borough and parents and carers are being advised to call the council's Family Information Service on 020 8303 7777 for more details."