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Council on hand to offer help and advice to families affected by closure of nursery chain

Norfolk County Council, 3 January 2024 00:00

Parents and carers affected by the sudden closure of three Norfolk nurseries can get help to find childcare from Norfolk County Council.

Alpha Nurseries announced on Friday that they would be closely, meaning the loss of three nurseries - in Dereham, Diss and Downham Market.

Norfolk County Council's Family Information Service (FIS) is available to help any families affected. FIS offers free confidential, and impartial information about local services and support for children aged 0-19 years (or up to 25 for children with special educational needs and disabilities). It also matches families up with alternative provision in the local area.

The council is also working with other providers to see what further support might be needed in each area.

The council is responsible for making sure there are enough childcare places in the area, it does not run nurseries itself nor own any nursery sites. Alpha is a private business and the council had no role in the closure.

Cllr Penny Carpenter said "I know the importance of being able to access childcare, as it was a real lifeline for me as a working parent. The sudden closure of these nurseries will be unsettling for parents but we are here to help.

"We're working closely with local providers to ensure that we can support families with an alternative childcare provision. If you're having difficulty finding childcare, please do contact our Family Information Service outreach team on 0344 800 8020, email or visit Our family information officers will offer support to help you find the childcare that meets your family's needs."

Families who have been affected by these closures, are invited to attend one of council's free community drop-in events. These events will feature members from The Family Information Service, The Early Childhood and Family Service and The Community and Partnerships teams and will provide you with an opportunity to discuss your child's, or children's, alternative nursery provision. There is no need to prebook, simply attend on one of the dates below:

  • Thursday 4 January, 9.30am-12.30pm at Dereham Library, 59 High Street, Dereham, NR19 1DZ
  • Thursday 4 January, 1pm-4pm at Downham Market Early Childhood and Family Service Base, Snape Lanen, Downham Market, PE38 9JQ
  • Friday 5 January, 9.30am-12.30pm at Diss Early Childhood and Family Service Base, Fitzwalter Road, Diss, IP22 4PU

Cllr Phillip Duigan Local Member for Dereham said "I am so sorry to hear about the closure of Magic Tree Day Nursery. This nursery has been serving the Dereham community for over a decade and will be missed. If you have been affected by the closure, I would encourage you to contact the Family Information Service for support."

For those who have been made redundant, information on early years and education job vacancies in Norfolk is available at Education Job Finder and on the Norfolk Early Years and Childcare Jobs Facebook group.

If you are a group who are interested in running a new childcare provision, expanding your existing business or have available places please contact the FIS team on: The council also provides training on the roles and responsibilities of early years committees and are always happy to meet potential new groups to offer advice and support.

Further information and support for families can be found online at Family Hubs and Early childhood and family service (ECFS).

Last modified: 14 May 2024 13:19

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