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Parents calling it unkind-ergarten

PUBLISHED: 15:50 31 July 2001 | UPDATED: 15:16 03 March 2010

OUTRAGED parents are reeling following the shock closure of their children's nursery in Ipswich.

Squirrels Montessori School in Foxhall Road closed without any notice to the parents.

OUTRAGED parents are reeling following the shock closure of their children's nursery in Ipswich.

Squirrels Montessori School in Foxhall Road closed without any notice to the parents.

Now Legend Kindergarten has opened a new nursery in its place, but parents are having to juggle the family budget as fees are working out to be 33 per cent higher.

One angry mum, who does not want to be named, said that she will end up paying more than £7 a day extra.

Fees for her 15-month-old daughter have shot up from £23 a day to £31.

For others who have more than one child at the school it can work out considerably more.

The mother placed her daughter in the nursery in October.

She said: "I am really upset – my daughter was so happy there.

"She got to know all the other children in there and many of them were in the same baby unit when they were born.

"But I will have to take her out now because I just cannot afford the increase."

Other mums are also having to re-think their childcare arrangements and at least five are looking elsewhere.

The more expensive fees no longer include a lunch, meaning parents will also have to fork out an extra £1.30 a day.

The mother, a former worker at Ipswich Borough Council who is now trying to start her own business was horrified when she heard this.

She said: "That (£1.30) is the Government allowance for school children which is supposed to buy them a drink, main meal and a dessert.

"My daughter will probably just eat about two thirds of a yoghurt for her dinner and the rest will be spattered all over the floor."

She said she had chosen the nursery because of the friendly staff and atmosphere and although she did not want to move her daughter, she felt she was left with no option.

"I could have managed an extra £2 or £3 a day, but £7 is just too much," she said.

Principal of Legend Kindergarten Nicholas Gibbs said that he was astonished that parents had not been advised of the imminent closure of the previous school and insisted that Legend were not to blame for this.

Mr Gibbs said that if he were a parent with the school he would be just as angry at the lack of notice or communication.

He said: "We are extremely sympathetic to clients of the previous Montessori school situated at the site.

"We are honouring their existing fees until September 1 and are also currently endeavouring to seek a return of advance fees that had been paid to the previous school owner.

"We hope that some of the previous school's clients will wish to join the 300 families currently with Legend Kindergarten, however it is important to stress that we did not take over operation of Squirrels."

Mr Gibbs added the full day care service offered by Legend is completely different to the previous school.

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