ANGRY parents claim they are owed money after a pre-school abruptly closed but has opened a ‘child minding’ service - but is only offering places to a select few.

Little Squirrels Early Years and Pre-School announced it had closed last Sunday after the owners, Peter Lynas and Sharon Williams, sent an email to the parents.

They blamed the closure on ‘Ofsted delays’ saying they were waiting for staff suitability checks.

However, an Ofsted spokesman said: “The provider resigned their registration following a regulatory visit that picked up a number of issues, including concerns about staff deployment.”

Parents have told the Worcester News that Mr Lynas and Ms Williams have been calling “certain parents” to offer them a child-minding place.

Some also claim to be owed money, which was paid in advance.

A mum of two, who wants to remain anonymous, said the pre-school has left parents “high and dry” and the owners still owe her £600.


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She said: “It’s so weird. I got a text out of the blue which said they will take on children for a child-minding service. But they said they want to be more careful with who they want to offer a place to.

“I have asked about five times for my money back to start paying the new nursery, but the owner said he will give me £100 out of his own pocket if I take up the offer of the child-minding service.

“I am fuming. I can’t believe they would do that to our children. You can’t just send an email out saying there’s no childcare and then another text to certain people offering a place. It makes no sense.”

Another mum who has been affected by the closure said she feels devastated and is owed £1,500.

She added: “It’s certainly a shock. I want my money back so I can pay for a new childcare setting. It’s been so stressful.”

The Worcester News contacted Mr Lynas and Ms Williams, but they were unavailable to comment.

The nursery, in Birchwood Mill, Worcester, closed on February 16. A sign was placed on the nursery’s gate which said: “This is with the greatest sadness that unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances; Little Squirrels has to cease operating with immediate effect.

“We understand the tremendous difficulties this will cause you at such short notice, but it is unavoidable, and this decision is final. The reasons we have no option except to close immediately are centred on Ofsted’s regulations of staff suitability checks taking so long.”