AN INDEPENDENT nursery near Malmesbury is closing after Easter, it has been confirmed.
Pumpkins Nursery, in Sherston, announced the closure on April 8, and has been searching for an alternative provider with Wiltshire Council.
“Despite its best endeavours”, they have been unable to identify a viable solution in the short term.
It has been working with Wiltshire Council, the parish council, and the YMCA.
Tanya Burgess, Chairman of Sherston Parish Council, posted on social media to say that it was not aware “of the underlying circumstances driving the closure of the school” at the time of the announcement.
Tanya added: “We fully appreciate that this is disappointing for all concerned, particularly as only two to three years ago we were in a similar situation in the village with the Busy Hands facility also closing, and do want to assure parents that we will do all we can to try to get something up and running as soon as we can”.
The parish council has also been approached by an individual who is keen to take the building on, once it has been surrendered, in order to expand a childminding facility and offer a level of care for some parents.
Tanya said: “The council will be meeting with them to understand more about what this provision looks like in terms of hours, care etc with a view to a possible option for consideration.
“This however would only ever be a short term solution to take the pressure off parents who have been unable to find alternative care, as our focus has to be on getting a fully fledged Pre-School up and running.”
Councillor Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills, said; “We are aware that Pumpkins Nursery, which is an independent nursery, in Sherston has decided to close and will not reopen after Easter.
“60 per cent of the children that attended the nursery have been offered alternative places so far, and our early years sufficiency team are working with any other families who require assistance.”
Cllr Mayes added that ensuring that children get the best start in life is a “priority for Wiltshire Council” and that it is working with Sherston Parish Council who own the site to try and find an alternative provider.
It says it has approached several providers in the area to see if they would be interested in operating a nursery on the Sherston site and discussions are on-going.
Sherston Primary School has indicated that they would be interested in setting up a nursery class for three and four year olds from September and discussions about this are continuing.