Parents want answers as Fakenham nursery remains shut, two months after it closed

The sign for Fakenham Gateway SureStart Children's Centre on Norwich Road, which had to close. Pictu

The sign for Fakenham Gateway SureStart Children's Centre on Norwich Road, which had to close. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Parents are angry that questions remain unanswered about the closure of a Fakenham nursery – more than two months after it shut.

No explanation has yet been given for the closure of Fakenham Gateway Children's Centre nursery and parents have recently been informed it will remain closed until September at the earliest.

The nursery, on Norwich Road, was closed on May 21 by the board of governors.

Since then, Ofsted has suspended the centre's registration because of concerns over child safety and Norfolk County Council said it could share no further information until the watchdog's investigation was complete.

Emma Allen, 33, who lives in Fakenham and had children aged four and one attending the centre, described the handling of the situation as a 'travesty' and has made a formal complaint to the governors.

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Mrs Allen, who has moved her children to a nursery in Great Ryburgh, said: 'My main concern is that no explanation has yet been given as to what has happened. Parents are owed an explanation.

'Rumours circulating have been wide and varied – some very worrying – and this has caused me, and I'm sure others, a lot of stress.

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'There seems to be no comprehension of the havoc they have wreaked on people's day-to-day lives. Child care provision is scarce. The upheaval has been unsettling on the children as well. Luckily we have muddled through, and my children are happy at another nursery. I'm fortunate my boss has been very understanding but I'm sure others haven't been so lucky.'

The nursery provides education and child care for children aged between six weeks and five years old. An Ofsted spokesman said: 'We suspended the registration because we were concerned that staff were unable to manage child care safely. Ofsted is working with the nursery to make sure it meets the high standards required to ensure that children are safe on the premises.'

A Norfolk County Council spokesman said: 'We sympathise with parents who may have faced difficulty due to the suspension of the day care.

'However, the welfare of the children has to be the foremost priority and the day care cannot open until everyone is satisfied that it can be run effectively. The county council has been working with parents who need to find alternative provision and the large majority have been able to access alternative childcare provision in the community.'

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