Busy Bees nursery to close as no longer sustainable

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Busy Bees, the largest daycare provider in the UK, is to shut one of its nurseries in Crawley, West Sussex, next month.


Busy Bees says it has no choice but to close the nursery at Sutherland House

A decision to close the setting has been made as the lease is due to expire and having reviewed the financial performance of the nursery, Busy Bees has decided that it is no longer sustainable.

Cheryl Creaser, Busy Bees’ divisional director, said, ‘We have explored a number of options as part of the review process to see if we can make the nursery financially viable and keep it open, but have been left with no alternative but to make this difficult decision. We are deeply saddened and disappointed to not be able to continue offering childcare at Busy Bees Crawley Sutherland House.’

The setting, which is due to close on 17 April, provides 17 full-time places.

Nursery staff will be redeployed across the group if they decide they want to stay with the company, says Busy Bees.

All children have been offered a place at the group’s Devale Park Nursery, less than a mile away.

Parents, who say they have been left ‘outraged’ by the decision and a lack of consultation over the closure, have launched a campaign to try to save the nursery.

Along with writing to the managing director of Busy Bees Marg Randles, they have started a petition, which so far has more than 270 signatures. A Facebook page for the campaign has 260 ‘likes’.

Writing on Facebook, members of the campaign group said, ‘Parents are united in their feelings about the nursery; that it is an incredibly special place with wonderful staff where our children are thriving.

‘One of the main issues that has angered parents is the lack of consultation over the closure and the way it has been handled and communicated.

‘The news of the nursery’s closure was announced to parents by a letter sent by email. We know that many parents did not receive news of the closure until the following day or were having to be told when they picked up their children as they had not checked their email. This seems to us a very impersonal and insensitive way to deliver this news.’

Parents also expressed their unhappiness about the eight-week notice period of the closure of the setting, which they argue is not long enough to find alternative high-quality childcare.

A spokesperson for Busy Bees said the group has followed procedures by the book, but was left with no choice but to close the setting as it is a leasehold rather than freehold property.

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