Devastated owner to close setting due to 30 hours

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A nursery provider has been forced to close one of her settings because a shortfall in funding for the free entitlement has made the business unsustainable.

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Sharon Alexander, owner of Rosy Apple Childcare

Sharon Alexander, owner of the Rosy Apple Childcare group of five settings, will open the doors of her children’s centre nursery Little Achievers@Ribbleton, in Lancashire, for the last time on Friday (8 March).

Ms Alexander said that the shortfall in funding, along with high rental, service costs and other rising costs means that she can no longer afford to keep the setting open.

The 66-place term-time only nursery opened in 2006 and was the first PVI setting in a children’s centre in Lancashire. It provides care for children from the age of two.

Ms Alexander said all children and staff are able to transfer to the group’s two other settings in Preston, which are owned rather than rented.

She told Nursery World, ‘It is with great regret that we close our children’s centre nursery. The owners, directors and staff team are devastated at the action we are having to take.

‘Despite our great work, the Government no longer pays us enough to continue to provide the “free” entitlement at our settings.

‘We have made as many efficiency savings as we can. Parents and staff have been urged to complain to our local MP about the atrocious state of the early years funding provided by the Government for the PVI sector and false promises made with the 30 hours “free” entitlement.’

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