Parents’ anger after sudden closure of day care facility

Poppins Daycare was based at 17 Chestnut Hill Road, Moira. Pic by Google
Poppins Daycare was based at 17 Chestnut Hill Road, Moira. Pic by Google

Angry parents say they have been left out of pocket and struggling to find alternative nursery places for their children after a Moira day care facility shut down suddenly last week.

Families were informed last Monday that Poppins Daycare Ltd on Chestnut Hill Road was to “close with immediate effect” due to financial problems.

One disgruntled mum, who contacted the Ulster Star on behalf of a number of families, said the news had come as a complete shock.

“Parents were contacted out of the blue last Monday evening to advise that the nursery had entered administration with immediate effect as they could no longer guarantee paying their staff,” she said. “It has since transpired that the nursery has been in trouble for over 12 months. Families were completely unaware of this and have now lost considerable sums for the remainder of the month we had paid for, as well as sourcing additional childcare at short notice.”

The woman said some parents had lost hundreds of pounds, and others well in excess of £1,000.

She added that finding suitable alternative nursery accommodation at short notice and making the move to new facilities had been a difficult experience for parents and children.

Another parent said staff at the business had been “devastated” by the closure, with some in tears after hearing the news.

“Some of them had worked there for more than a decade; I just felt so sorry for them,” she commented.

In a letter to parents, Dean Beckett, owner of Poppins Daycare Ltd, explained: “Over the last 12 months we have struggled to restore the financial viability of the nursery, however this has not been possible and we have taken the difficult decision to close Poppins Daycare. We have engaged CavanaghKelly Chartered Accountants and Insolvency Practitioners to assist with the wind down of the nursery.

“We recognise that this is a difficult position, however we are unable to guarantee the payment of staff wages for this month and therefore must close with immediate effect.”

Parents were invited to the nursery on Thursday evening (October 18) to meet with representatives of CavanaghKelly.

When contacted by the Star, CavanaghKelly declined to make any comment on the issue.