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School House Nursery in Sandwich closes following funding crisis

Six people have been left unemployed after a nursery school in Sandwich lost its fight to stay open.

School House Nursery closed its doors on Friday after a funding crisis.

The not-for-profit facility in School Lane had tried to raise £10,000 in a last ditch attempt to keep it running but efforts fell flat when only £400 was donated on a Just Giving page in addition to £275 raised in an impromptu summer fair.

Manager Jackie Wylde says she is heartbroken
Manager Jackie Wylde says she is heartbroken

Manager Jackie Wylde said: “Due to unforeseen financial difficulties the closure had been unavoidable.

“It is terribly sad that six staff members have lost their jobs along with 12 families losing child care and a further six who wanted to begin their early years with us.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my School House family but wish to thank everyone so very much for sharing the adventures.”

Ms Wylde has worked at the nursery for six years and was promoted to manager in September 2015. In January 2016 the nursery school was rated good in all areas after an inspection by regulator Ofsted.

Inspectors studied the nursery’s paperwork as well as the effectiveness of leadership and management, quality of teaching, and the children’s personal development, behaviour and welfare.

Ms Wylde told the Mercury at the time that she and her team felt confident in the run up to the inspection because they had worked so hard to improve standards since their last inspection in February 2015.

The learning space featured four activity rooms, along with a kitchen and changing room and a huge garden equipped with artificial turf and a playground which is divided into sections for cycling, art, recycling and more.

The final decision to close was made by the nursery’s committee at a meeting on Monday, July 24.

Sandwich's School House Nursery has closed due to financial problems
Sandwich's School House Nursery has closed due to financial problems

Ms Wylde said: “During the last six years of working at School House Nursery I have had some amazing experiences.

“The staff have been varied and I cannot thank James Bowman enough for his support during my degree. The Early Years need more practitioners such as James.

“Lucinda Bedford completed our School House family with her devotion to children and sense of humour.

“As I try to find a silver lining in the closure of School House Nursery I realise that it is similar to saying goodbye to our wonderful children when they transition to school.

“At times we have to say goodbye to continue in our adventures.

“School House Nursery staff wish our families the happiest of adventures.”

Ms Wylde has commended parents, including Kerri Fordham, for their efforts in the past weeks.

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