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Rising costs forces nursery in Lewes to close up
Families have been left trying to find emergency childcare after their nursery went bust.
Sabrina Hollands, the owner of Cliffe Childcare Centre in Lewes, choked back tears as she said goodbye to the children for the last time on Friday after saying she had “no choice” but to put the business into liquidation.
Parents spoke of their devastation at the loss of the popular nursery.
But some of the families of the 43 children said they hoped to try to find a way of opening a replacement in the same building in Morris Road.
Scott O’Brian, whose stepdaughter went to the nursery and whose 16- week-old son was due to join in April, is one of the parents discussing the business’s future.
He said: “The experience we have had at the nursery has been incredibly positive and that’s been the driver behind doing something to keep it going.
“There seems to be a groundswell of opinion that if we can possibly do something then we ought to try.”
Increasing overheads, including a hike in rents, have been blamed for the closure, as well as struggling parents being forced to cut their children’s hours at the nursery.
Miss Hollands, who started at 16 as a trainee and worked up through the ranks until she became a director and then bought out the business, said the parents’ support has been overwhelming.
She said: “They have been so kind and understanding. I have had generations of children that I have seen grow up.
“It’s quite hard to think I’m not going to be a part of it any more, even worse to think it might carry on without me.”
On the centre’s Facebook page Liz Kaye said: “Devastated for everyone – management, staff, parents and children.
“We haven’t been part of the family for very long, but we owe you all a great deal.
“Thanks and best wishes – you have been amazing.”
On an online forum mother Luisa wrote: “Really really sad news.
Our boy goes there, and has loved every minute of it.
“Sabrina and the team are all fantastic.
I feel very sad, as I’m sure do many others.”
MP Norman Baker called on East Sussex County Council to step in to stop the privately-run nursery from closing.
A council spokesman said: “Our records show that there are other early education and childcare vacancies with other providers in Lewes.
“If parents would like help finding alternative childcare, please contact our Information for Families service on 0345 6080192 or visit our website.”