Jumpin Beans nurseries in Bury St Edmunds and Red Lodge closed without any warning due to ‘funding issues’ with Suffolk County Council

Nursery stock image

Nursery stock image - Credit: PA

Two nurseries in west Suffolk have closed today (November 5) leaving dozens of parents without childcare.

The Jumpin Beans Nursery at the Millennium Centre, off Heatherset Way, Red Lodge, and at the Anselm Community Centre, Grove Road, in Bury St Edmunds, have both closed without warning.

A letter given out to parents this morning in Red Lodge, by staff who were said to be nearly in tears, said the closure was due to funding issues.

It read: “It is with regret and sorrow that Jumpin Beans is closing today (November 5) due to untenable funding issues within Suffolk County Council.

“We have been working hard to resolve the issues but with no resolution in sight.”

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Elisa Smith, from Red Lodge, has her three-year-old daughter Harmony placed at the nursery.

“We got there this morning and two of the staff came out and handed us a letter,” she said. “They said the nursery had closed. I don’t think they knew until today either, they were very upset.

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“My daughter is upset at the moment, she doesn’t understand why she can’t go. I am in a better position than most parents because I don’t currently work, so I can have my daughter at home, but many people have their kids there from 9am until 3pm so they can work.”

The mother-of-four said no one is sure what the real reason for closure is, but stressed that no one blames the nursery staff.

“The staff at the nursery are absolutely brilliant and my heart goes out to them,” she said. “It is their jobs they have lost.

“It was a complete shock and I don’t think it has been handled in a very good way at all. Just yesterday we were talking about the Christmas play and a mother’s evening.

“Then we arrive and it has closed down. You would have thought they could have made us aware that it might happen.

“Right now I am waiting to see what happens, I hope it opens again as my daughter has a few speech issues and social problems and the staff were great with her, I don’t want her to have start again.

“I am not sure how it works with funding, as I get 15 hours free from the government and have signed my funding request for Jumpin Beans up until the end of next term.

“But other parents will have paid for up front, I don’t know how much it is, but now they have no childcare but have already handed over the money.”

Suffolk County Council have said they are working to find new places for the children at both nurseries, which have a total capacity of around 40. Both are operated by Jumpin Beans Ltd.

The EADT spoke to company director Helen Palmer who said she is seeking legal advice before talking to the media.

A statement from a county council spokesman said: “We understand from the business owner, that they have decided to close both the Jumpin Beans Day Nursery based at the Millenium Centre at Red Lodge, and the Jumpin Beans Pre-school based on Grove Road in Bury.

“Suffolk County Council is now working closely with the parents of all the children who have been attending these childcare providers to help them find suitable childcare elsewhere.

“Parents who need assistance finding alternative childcare should call the Suffolk Family Information Service helpline on 0345 60 800 33 or they can search for childcare online at www.suffolk.gov.uk/fsd.”

If you are a parent affected by the closure and would like to talk to the EADT please phone 01284 727411 or email matt.reason@archant.co.uk

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