AN MP has visited a day nursery to give his support after it was given six-months’ notice to leave its premises.
Martine’s Child Care, based at Ysgol Llywelyn in Rhyl, was handed a notice of closure from the school without any prior discussions or meetings.
The nursery has been based at the school for six years and provides wraparound child care for parents whose children go to the school, but now the school says it needs the building.
Owner Martine Williams said: “I went for lunch and came back to find the letter on my table – it didn’t even say ‘Dear Martine. I just fell to pieces in front of my staff.
“Denbighshire County Council asked me to take over the building in 2012 – they believed it was not a good idea for a manager to take over and so I took it over as a limited company.
“I have been given six-month notice with no explanation and no discussions – they should have consulted with us first.
“We have had excellent in the Estyn report and other nurseries are sent here to watch good practice.
”The parents depend on us for their childcare. This is the reason many parents chose to send their children to Ysgol Llewelyn.”
Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane said after his visit: “I have received an excellent briefing from the staff and parents.
“I totally understand their concerns over the impact this decision could have on them.
“This is an outstanding childcare facility with high qualified and dedicated management and staff dealing with parents who clearly have a very high regard for them.
“It offers wide and varied aspects of childcare and education and it is really appreciated by children, parents and employers.
“Any changes need to be made with extreme care and with full consultation of those involved.”
Ms Williams said: “I feel devastated for my staff. I have had to serve them all redundancy notices. There are 14 altogether. The parents are devastated and so are the children – some of them have been here with us for six years.”
One parent, Sarah Barnett, who has two children at the nursery, said: “I’m very anxious about this. I attended an induction event with the headmistress for my child who will be starting in September and was introduced to Martine.
“I was told she would provide wraparound care for my children. This was vital for me in making my decision to send my children to the school, but I have come to realise now that she would have already known about the decision and gave me a false sense of security. I’m completely shocked and dismayed at the way the school have gone about this.
“Nobody wants to embed their children in somewhere that is going to be closing down.
“I’m very angry with the school for putting me in that position.
“I have asked to meet both the headmistress and governors, who have said they will not be discussing the matter and for me to put my conerns in writing.”
Ysgol Llewelyn said in a statement: “We recognise that the childcare provider offers a valuable service locally, using a section of our school from which to run the business.
“However, the number of pupils attending the school has increased year on year to such an extent that we now need that allocated space for educational purposes.
“As a result, the governing body has come to the decision to end the lease, with six months’ notice.
“This has been communicated to the owner.
“Whilst we recognise that this is far from ideal for the business, we must take into consideration the needs of our pupils and take the accommodation back for our use.
“We have offered the business owner to come into the school to discuss the position and we will work closely with colleagues in the council to try and assist the business to find an alternative location.”