The future of a children’s nursery in Bures hangs in the balance as an extraordinary general meeting has been called to consider its closure.
Noah’s Ark Nursery in Bures, which has been running for 47 years, has announced it may face too many uphill financial struggles to continue operating after July.
Kate Sarley, chairman of Noah’s Art Nursery Group, said: “There just aren’t enough under fives seeking nursery places within the village to support the current provision.
“The reason we have had to call the meeting is that we can’t operate unless we are solvent. “Changes in funding and increases in payroll and other expenses mean we are barely breaking even.
“As an independent charity, we cannot continue unless our numbers increase significantly. It really is a case of use us or lose us.”
The nursery has 33 registered children and extended it opening hours after consulting with local councillors and MP James Cartlidge two years ago about its future.
Parent Sam Currie sent the nursery an email saying: “The nursery provides an essential service for us as working parents. We desperately hope that Noah’s Ark manages to stay afloat.”
Other parents took to social media to express their shock at the announcement.
“How sad this will be for Noah’s to close its doors,” said Helen Riddle. “All three of my children have shared part of their journey with Noah’s, whether as first steps to school or more recently at holiday club. There must be a way forward.”
Lisa Dexter said: “Noah’s, in various forms, has been a huge part of the village for such a long time. Generations have been going there since it first started. There has to be a way.”
Donna Row, proprietor of nearby Yorley Barn Nursery, has been campaigning about the issues facing childcare providers up and down the country for the past two years.
Her campaign, Champagne Nurseries on Lemonade Funding, has attracted 20,000 supporters, including South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge.
Ms Row says she was “devastated” to hear about the potential closure of Noah’s Ark Nursery. She said: “I immediately contacted the staff. Noah’s is a casualty of this national scandal.”
The meeting will take place in Bures Community Centre on Monday at 7.30pm.