Parents of children who attend a Wallingford nursery have spoken out against its upcoming closure, which has forced them to “urgently” seek alternatives outside of the town.

Mongewell Park Day Nursery and Preschool, at Elizabeth House in Reading Road, run by Bright Horizons, has announced closure on Thursday, March 28.

A new nursery is set to open at Elizabeth House in July (named Elizabeth House Day Nursery and Preschool), meaning there will be no childcare facility at the site for up to four months.

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Cressida Munnery, director and headmistress of the new Elizabeth House Day Nursery and Preschool said: “Elizabeth House is owned by the company who leased the building to Bright Horizons.

“Bright Horizons were told that we would be exercising the break clause in July 2023.  They understood this five-year break clause was a very real possibility when they negotiated the lease six years previously.

“The clause had been added to the lease because Bright Horizons had not fulfilled their maintenance obligations under the previous lease. We were concerned that the building had been allowed to deteriorate.”

Parents have been advised to seek availability at Brightwell Horizons’ nearby sister nurseries such as Didcot Day Nursery and Preschool and Milton Day Nursery and Preschool.

Ms Munnery also stated that temporary options such as placing a portable building on the land behind the nursery were considered however deemed “neither practical given the time constraints nor affordable.”

One mother with a child at the nursery said via social media in response to the announcement: “It might do nothing but I’m going to write to council/MP. This will cause even more shortage of childcare in the area which is already oversubscribed with waiting lists you need to sign up to when you’re only just pregnant to get a place.

“With all the new build developments going up the onus should be on the council to make sure there is sufficient childcare venues for the community.”

Another mother said: “We waited two years to get into this nursery and we love it so much for our three-year-old old who goes to the preschool there. So many families are affected and urgently calling around trying to find childcare.”

Mongewell Park was rated as “good” overall and in every area of assessment by Ofsted at its last inspection by Ofsted in May 2021.

Inconvenienced parents have been welcomed to reapply to the nursery re-opening under new ownership.

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Ms Munnery said: “We have been doing all we can to help resolve this difficult situation and we sympathise with the parents.

“We will hopefully be able to take on all those staff at the current nursery who wish to join us. Staff recruitment and child registration are co-dependent and the offer of places will be in line with the recruitment of staff.

“We have already made it clear to existing Mongewell Park families that they are more than welcome to apply to Elizabeth House and will receive priority registration.”

A nursery spokesperson for Bright Horizons said: "Our primary focus is and has always been ensuring continuity of care for our children and families and supporting our staff to remain in work.

"We remain dedicated to our parent partnership and will support families to seek alternative childcare arrangements in the local area.”