Parents face a scramble to find alternative childcare after a nursery announced its decision to close permanently with less than two weeks’ notice.

Happitots Nursery Thornliebank, which is located on Spiersbridge Way in the Spiersbridge Business Park, is to shut permanently on Friday, May 31 at 1pm.

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In a letter issued to parents yesterday (May 20), the nursery said the decision had been made “in consideration of the severe staffing crisis” they have been facing due to “low levels of qualified and suitably experienced staff".

“We believe this means we can no longer continue to provide safe, high-quality care and education that you rightly expect for your child,” added the letter.

“Along with many other day nurseries in Scotland, we have faced immense challenges in recruiting and retaining qualified staff.

“Furthermore, we are experiencing a high number of sickliness being submitted, which is making staffing critical with immediate effect.

“We will therefore be taking the decision to move all children and remainder of staff into one room whilst we navigate the next two weeks.”

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The nursery is operated by Thrive Childcare and Education, a provider which has four different brands covering 48 nurseries across Scotland and the north-west of England.

From Tuesday, May 21 all zero to two children will be moving into the separated section within the current two to three-year-old room, which the nursery acknowledged was not ideal but “the only solution” they are able to offer without closing with immediate effect.

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Staff will also be required to close the full nursery this Friday, May 24 at 1pm before reopening on Monday, May 27 at 8am due to current staffing.

The letter also stated that the nursery manager has resigned and will not be returning, and in the absence of both a manager and deputy, called on other settings within the region to offer emergency management support over this and next week.

The nursery also said they would be happy to support a transition to any of the closest Thrive nurseries, but acknowledged these may be too far away.

The closest locations are Glasgow Airport, Robroyston and Garrowhill, which are 13 miles, 12.8 miles, and 15.3 miles away respectively.

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A spokesperson for Happitots Nursery Thornliebank added: “We are sorry we have had to take the extremely difficult decision to permanently close the nursery at the end of May.

“We realise the impact this will have on families, our staff and the local community and have only done this after exhausting all other possible options.

“Like many other nurseries in Scotland and indeed across the UK, we have faced recruitment challenges, at all levels, where we have been unable to recruit sufficient qualified staff to continue to provide the safe, high-quality care and education our parents rightly expect.

“We appreciate the short notice will be problematic for parents and are working with them to identify an alternative nursery place at our other nearby settings.

“We will also be contacting other local providers to see whether they can provide any other spaces.”

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A spokesperson for the Care Inspectorate said: “We have been notified that this service will close on May 31, 2024.”

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