UPDATE: Calls for more childcare support in Boston as nurseries announce immediate closures
The closures left parents with little time to find alternative childcare before returning to work after the Christmas period.
The two nurseries are Middlecott House Day Nursery, in Kirton, and ABC Day Nursery in Boston, both run by Alpha Nurseries.
Some 25 staff members employed at both sites have now lost their jobs.
In a letter sent to parents, Gerard Dooley, managing director or Alpha Nurseries announces the closures “with great sadness” – adding the company’s directors “have regretfully had to make the decision to cease trading with immediate effect from today December 29 2023 due to its financial position. As a consequence, all nursery facilities will close with effect today and will not re-open.
He adds: “This was an extremely difficult decision and was not taken lightly.”
He goes on to say the company has now gone into liquidation, adding: “Please accept our sincere apologies for any difficulty which this may cause you and your family, we hope you are able to secure alternative arrangements as soon as possible.”
Parents were also advised that law firm Begbies Traynor would be able to help if any money is owed back to them.
In two Facebook posts from both nurseries, staff bid an emotional farewell to the children and parents they had worked with over the years
Many parents responded, calling the news “so sad” and thanking the staff – while others said it was “absolutely disgraceful” how the staff, parents and children had been let down with such short notice.
Many took to the local Facebook groups to appeal for information on alternative childcare places.
Posting to the ‘Kirton, Frampton and Wyberton Community Group’ on Facebook, one mum asked: “Are there any childminders in the area at all? I need some childcare urgently for the new year.” She was not alone in making a plea for alternative childcare.
Other local nurseries in the Boston area have posted on social media to state they have available spaces to help parents.
Local LibDems councillors in Kirton are now calling for local authorities to do more to identify other childcare providers to “take over the site”.
In a joint statement, Couns Ralph Pryke, Lorraine O'Connor, Peter Watson and Sandi Watson said they are “shocked and saddened by the sudden closure of Middlecott House Nursery”.
"This has left many local parents and children in the lurch because there's no nursery to attend from Tuesday onwards,” they said, adding they are now “calling on Lincolnshire County Council and Boston Borough Council to work at speed to identify another nursery provider who can take over the site and to help parents and children unable to find another place quickly.”
Lincolnshire World contacted Lincolnshire County Council about the issue. Geraldine O'Neill, sustainability and development manager, said: “The council is aware of the nursery closures, and we’re contacting families previously accessing funded places at these settings. Parents are encouraged to use the Family Services Directory to find alternative childcare. Alternatively, they can contact the Family Information Service on 0800 195 1635 (freephone).”
She added: “We’re working with other childcare providers in these areas to provide additional places where possible. In addition, we are contacting other providers about taking over the premises in Boston and Kirton and have already received enquiries from interested parties. Further updates will be provided as things progress.”