Ipswich: Toybox pre-school in Gatacre Road has funding withdrawn

A TOWN pre-school has had its early years funding withdrawn over fears it was not meeting childcare quality standards.

Toybox, based alongside Handford Hall Primary School in Gatacre Road, has been taken off Suffolk County Council’s list of approved early years providers having spent months trying to resolve serious issues.

The reasons for the action – which is expected to affect up to 50 families around the town – have not been released, although it comes as the council revealed Toybox was not meeting the quality standards expected.

However, a spokesman for the county council said parents were to get support and help in finding an “alternative provision” as youngsters start back at school today.

The decision was revealed last week, with parents set to receive notification of the move to stop funding immediately.

The Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “Even after extensive work with Toybox over a number of months, they have not been able to resolve the serious issues that have been identified.

“Whilst we fully appreciate that the timing of this decision may cause problems for some parents, high-quality childcare provision is our primary concern.

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“In this case, our professional judgement is that it is better to remove Toybox from our directory of providers than allow the service to continue with the issues unresolved.

“We will of course consider reinstating the organisation if they can demonstrate that they meet the standards we set for all providers.”

Toybox officials were unavailable to comment when the pre-school was contacted by The Star.

Parents who wish to access support in light of the decision can call the Suffolk Families Information Service on 0845 60 800 33.