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Rosie Barkes

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Rosie Barkes said she was “panicking” about finding a new nursery place for her two-year-old son Ardyn

Parents say they are “panicking” at having to find new childcare places after a chain of nurseries shut.

Great Yarmouth Community Trust went into liquidation on Wednesday – affecting 450 families.

Rosie Barkes, whose son Ardyn was at a nursery in Lowestoft, said parents had been given no warning and added it could affect her ability to work.

Norfolk and Suffolk county councils said they were working to reopen the nurseries or provide alternatives.

Some 136 staff are also facing redundancy following the closure of the trust’s centres across Norfolk and Suffolk.

Ms Barkes, 27, said Ladybird Day Care had helped her two-year-old son, who has additional needs and suspected autism, to settle in and develop since he started five months ago.

“I’m panicking because I’m not sure I’m going to be able to find a new place for him… All the parents who are affected by this will now be competing for the same places,” she said.

‘Sad news’

“If I can’t find a new place for him I might not be able to go back to work after maternity leave.”

Another parent, Abbi Marysia, said on the nursery’s Facebook page: “Such sad news. Both my children will be upset. Thinking of all the staff at this hard time.”

Jayde Foxon, a parent of a child at Seagulls Day Nursery in Gorleston, said on Facebook: “My child was meant to have a play session tomorrow. This is so sad – why wasn’t anyone told before the sudden happening?”

Writing on Lowestoft’s Little Ducks Day Nursery social media page, Ryan Gant also asked people to “have a thought for the staff that have lost their jobs without pay just before Christmas”.

Andrew Kelsall, who is overseeing the liquidation, said workers would have to apply for their wages, which they would receive on Wednesday.

The nurseries affected are:

  • Calthorpe Nursery, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
  • Little Blossoms Nursery, Filby, Norfolk
  • Ladybird Day Care at Kirkley Children’s Centre, Lowestoft, Suffolk
  • Little Ducks Day Nursery, Lowestoft
  • Peggotty Nursery, Great Yarmouth
  • Priory Day Nursery, Great Yarmouth
  • Seagulls Day Nursery, Gorleston, Norfolk
  • Willow Day Nursery, Great Yarmouth

The independent school Horatio House in Lowestoft and Nexus Engineering in Gorleston, both run by the trust, have also closed.

Web pages providing information for parents have been set up by the two councils in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Have you been affected by the trust’s closure? To get in touch, email [email protected] or find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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