Anger at Paddox nursery closure

Holly Lodge Day Nursery.
Holly Lodge Day Nursery.
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Dozens of Rugby families have been left angry and upset at a decision to close a popular nursery.

Staff, parents and children have expressed their dismay at the demise of Holly Lodge in Paddox, which stands on a site which is due to be redeveloped.

Up to 80 families are now trying to find alternative placements in an area that is already oversubscribed.

Hillmorton mother Jody Boyer has two children – Charlotte, eight, and Lucy, five - who will be affected.

“My oldest daughter has been going to the nursery for more than three years and the staff are faultless. There had been a lot of rumours but I found out officially last week,” said Jody.

“I’m absolutely gutted and so is my daughter – she loved going there.”

She said Friday was Lucy’s first and last day at the nursery. “My daughter loved it and will miss it a lot. I don’t know where they are going to go now. It’s such a shame.”

Holly Lodge was rated ‘good’ - the second-highest ranking on Ofsted’s four-point scale - by inspectors when they last visited in 2010.

Francesca Dimberline, who lives in Hillmorton, said there was a degree of panic when the closure was announced.

“My daughter has been going there since she was ten months and was just about to start pre-school. I have nothing but praise for the nursery.”

She has found an alternative nursery for her daughter that’s a bit further away.

Another mum, Lisa Foots, said “My little girl Sophie used to attend Holly Lodge three days a week.

“I feel gutted that it’s closing. It’s like home from home for the kids and the staff have had a huge influence on my daughter at every stage of her progression.”

A Warwickshire County Council spokesperson said they sold the former Acorns Infant School site in Fareham Avenue to the Witherslack Group who plan to open a 70 space school for young people with special educational needs in the autumn term.

She added: “Holly Lodge Private Day Nursery has operated on this site for the past 22 years and arrangements had been made for them to share the site with the new school.

“However, Holly Lodge management took their own decision to cease trading at this location.

“The local authority has assessed childcare availability in the area and is confident that the closure of Holly Lodge in July should not impact negatively on families currently using this facility.

“Early years and childcare provision is available at neighbouring facilities in the area, and the Family Information Service will be working with families affected by the closure to help them find alternative childcare provision.”

The nursery’s pre-school will close on July 19. Toddlers can stay until October.

Holly Lodge’s managers declined to comment.