Ipswich: Toybox pre-school blasts council over early years funding withdrawal

DIRECTORS at a town pre-school have spoken out after having its early years funding withdrawn.

The Ipswich Star previously revealed that Toybox, in Gatacre Road, had been taken off the county council’s list of approved providers.

At the time the decision was made, the county council said that Toybox was not meeting the quality standards expected, however the reasons behind the decision were not revealed.

Today, the directors of Toybox said they believed they were not getting the support they needed from the council following the death of their manager in December 2011.

Their statement said all staff and directors were “fully confident” in their ability to safeguard children.

They added: “Through our own investigations into the previous management of Toybox, we became aware that several matters needed our immediate attention; we worked tirelessly to address these matters.

“We sought advice from Suffolk County Council and implemented their advice, supported our staff through the necessary changes and recruited new trained staff with fresh ideas, to further support Toybox with moving forward.

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“The directors unanimously feel that once we had met the targets set by Suffolk County Council, they then moved the goalposts further and further apart.”

The Toybox representatives also claim that all support staff and volunteers have been cleared under CRB checks before they interact on an individual basis with children.

A spokeswoman for the county council said: “The county council met with the Toybox management team at the beginning of September to discuss the implications of their being removed from the Directory of approved Providers.

‘’The agreement, which all providers sign up to, states that once removed from the Directory of approved Providers an organisation can re-apply after a six-month period has elapsed. This is to allow the organisation sufficient time to meet the required quality standards.”

Toybox pre-school is still open and is welcoming new children.