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New specialist disability nursery could save another nursery due to close

PUBLISHED: 16:36 01 March 2019

Paulo Meireles and Carla Ferreira run Traquinas nursery in Thetford and are aiming to save another nursery which is due to close. Picture: Conor Matchett

Paulo Meireles and Carla Ferreira run Traquinas nursery in Thetford and are aiming to save another nursery which is due to close. Picture: Conor Matchett

Archant

A husband and wife duo are hoping to save a nursery due to close at the end of March by reopening it with a specialist disability offering, inspired by their daughter.

Paulo Meireles and Carla Ferreira who run Traquinas nurseries in Thetford have been pushing Norfolk County Council to save the Tree Tops nursery before it shuts.

The closure of Tree Tops and Kingfishers nurseries were announced by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust two weeks ago.

But, inspired by their daughter Nina, who suffers from a rare, unnamed condition and global development delay, Mr Meireles and Ms Ferreira want to bring special needs care to Thetford by taking over part of the building.

Ms Ferreira said: “As a parent of a child with a disability it is really hard as most parents don’t work because they feel like wherever they are going to take their child, they are not going to be looked after as well as they would at home.

“Most of those families are from deprived areas with children with extra needs so we could keep the nursery open and have a specialised area for children with disabilities of which there is nothing around Thetford.

“Nina would be perfect in a mainstream school with a specialist help for those with special needs but there is nothing. That is something really close to my heart because of Nina so that would be the plan.”

The couple are keen to act fast. Both nurseries listed for closure are due to shut on Friday, March 29 with parents already looking elsewhere for child care.

Ms Ferreira added: “If all the children are going to other nurseries then we won’t have any children.

“I know if I was a parent who did not work in child care I would have no idea where to start with a child with a disability.

“To have somewhere that would help those parents would be amazing and that is what we really want.”

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: “We have had expressions of interest from several childcare providers who may be interested in running nursery provision in Thetford.

“We will be speaking to all interested parties shortly – including Traquinas – to assess the level of interest and make sure they have a robust business plan.”

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