Despite its best efforts in searching for an alternative provider, Thurrock Council has today had to announce regretfully the upcoming closure of two of its nurseries, Little Pirates and Neptune, both based in Tilbury.
The council opened a procurement process in January, in hope of attracting a nursery provider keen to offer continuity of service and peace of mind for local parents. However, despite a long search and a fair open market process, no provider was found to take on the contracts from September this year.
The nurseries will close on Friday 15 July, when the funding for early education and childcare places ends for the summer term.
Cllr Barry Johnson, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: "It is regrettable that we have not been able to find a provider with the expertise and financial standing to secure the future of these nurseries. We can't rely on taxpayers to support the two nurseries financially while others across the borough operate successfully without council support.
"I know this news will be upsetting for those parents and staff who relied upon both nurseries. I want to thank the staff of both Little Pirates and Neptune for everything you have done to nurture inquisitive young minds and help both nurseries maintain such high standing in your communities."
Staff will be on-hand today (Wednesday 18 May) to speak with parents and carers, and to help find new placements for September. Following this, the council's Early Years Team and Family Information Service will be contacting parents and carers to help them find alternative early years education and childcare, if they haven't done so already.
There is also a directory of childcare providers on the AskThurrock website.