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Childcare centre shock

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By Fiona Reid
Childcare centre shock

PARENTS in Moffat have been left reeling after the town’s only childcare centre for 0- 16s revealed it’s set to close with the loss of ten jobs.

After years of operating at a loss, Small ‘n’ Tall, which currently has 40 children on its register, is earmarked for closure at the end of the month.

A statement from the charity’s trustees reads: “Small ‘n’ Tall are proposing to wind up the charity.

“We have come with great reluctance to the conclusion that the charity is no longer viable, after several years of operating at a loss, and that we will need to cease operating from the end of October.

“We have spent the last few weeks exploring options to continue on a more limited basis, but we have been unable to find a way to make ends meet.

“All parents have been notified of the proposal, and we are very sorry for the disappointment and disruption that closure will cause.”

Parents and carers are invited to an EGM next Friday when there will be a vote on closure plans.

The meeting will be open to anybody with ideas to keep the service going and they will be invited to becomeatrustee, allowing the current trustees to step aside.

The official statement continues: “If the proposal to wind up is agreed we will do our best to signpost alternative childcare options, and we are in discussion with other childcare providers to try to smooth the transition.

“We deeply regret the job losses for our dedicated and highly skilled workforce of ten women, and we will do our best to assist them into alternative employment, and to meet our obligations in relation to severance payments as soon as possible.”

Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell has contacted the Scottish Government to highlight the issue and seek support.

He said: “This is a real hammer blow to Moffat and is an extremely worrying time for the families who are dependant on the services provided.

“They are being left in limbo and have been badly let down by Dumfries and Galloway Council who have turned a blind eye to long running issues.”

He added: “The EGM must see a solution agreed so that if Small ‘n’ Tall does indeed close its doors, families won’t be left without childcare.

“I am therefore calling on the council to send representation to the meeting and provide reassurance that a solution will be found going forward to alleviate these very serious concerns.”

And MP David Mundell added: “I hope that council representatives can come to the EGM and outline what their plans are going forward as a matter of urgency in order for families in the area to be put at ease.”

Meanwhile, Annandale North councillor Adam Wilson has praised the trustees. He said: “I would like to highlight the professionalism of the board.

At this very difficult time they are ensuring that Small ‘n’ Tall remains ethical to its core and are working closely with parents and staff.”


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