A parent has described the closure of an east Suffolk nursery as a 'great shame' and said staff there were 'fantastic' with her daughter.

Last week, the EADT revealed how bosses had taken the 'heart-wrenching decision' to close the Old Hospital Nursery in Southwold just a week after the Government had announced the rollout of 15 hours a week of free childcare for two-year-olds.

The decision to close the nursery - which had only been running for two years - was taken due to the national crisis with early years staffing, which had made it impossible to recruit enough carers to provide the children with a safe environment.

East Anglian Daily Times: The Old Hospital Nursery in Southwold has closed downThe Old Hospital Nursery in Southwold has closed down (Image: Julie Carpenter)

READ MORE: Southwold Old Hospital nursery makes decision to close

Michelle Cook's daughter Abbie-Rose attended the nursery for approximately 16 months from when it first opened in April 2022 until she started school in September.

Her mother said: "I think it’s a great shame that the nursery is closing. 

"My daughter really enjoyed her time there, staff were fantastic and I wouldn’t have wanted her to go to a different nursery.

"The staff would go above and beyond to help and support us, especially as my daughter suffers with separation anxiety."

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She added she knew of many parents who had been affected by the closure and had to look further afield for nursery places.

She said: "It would be great if a charity organisation would take over the nursery so that the staff could keep their jobs and still be able provide the much-needed childcare provisions in a safe and welcoming environment."

Earlier this month, the EADT reported concerns from nursery leaders across Suffolk that the Government funding would not be enough and nurseries were being 'squeezed' by being unable to charge top-up fees while having to meet higher staff costs.

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They warned the situation was forcing nurseries to close locally and nationally.

Michelle also said the Government was paying the 'bare minimum' which was insufficient for nurseries to run.

She added: "They want parents to work but unless there are childcare providers that won’t be possible. 

"The Old Hospital Nursery was a great asset to the town, it’s such a shame that it has closed."

READ MORE: Southwold news  

Last week, Elaine Glendinning, the nursery director, said: “This was such a difficult, heart-wrenching decision especially knowing the shortage of nursery places in our area has only increased since the closing of Brambles in Reydon.

"We care deeply about our children and their parents.

"We looked at every way to keep the keep nursery open from raising fees to limiting opening hours and restricting in-take to children over the age of two, but no matter which way we turned, we bumped up against the hard reality that we could not run a safe nursery without qualified staff and these were not forthcoming.”