Kiddi Caru nursery in Earl’s Court will close tomorrow despite a bitter battle between parents and nursery executives.
The nursery site, located at the Empress Building, was bought by the Metropolitan Police Service in June 2019 as part of a regeneration and redevelopment plan.
The building is now set to serve as new counter-terrorism offices.
Families were notified by email on January 20 that the lease was not being renewed.
The nursery was supposed to be closing on February 20 and parents were left with four weeks to find alternative care for their children.
The company, which is operated by the French group Grandir, said in the email addressed to parents it was looking for new premises and other options.
Theodore Morita, 41, head of compliance at JCB International and father of four, said: “Kiddi Caru has not provided the parents with alternatives in finding other nurseries.
“If some parents have been able to find nurseries, it is because they took the issues to councils and fought to be heard.”
Mr Morita’s son is now on a waiting list at another nursery.
However, with ten children ahead of him he might not get a place before summer.
He said: “My wife will have to give up her job to look after our son.
“This is a direct consequence of their wrongful management.”
As of today, Kiddi Caru employs 23 members of staff and offers services to 65 children at the site.
A company spokesperson said: “We have gone to great lengths to look for alternative premises but this has not proved successful.
“We have been supporting families looking for alternative childcare by contacting other local providers and discussing their current availability, and this is the same for staff looking for employment whether that be within the Kiddi Caru Group or outside.”
This is not the first time Kiddi Caru has closed down a nursery at short notice.
Last October the company shut the Redbourne House Nursery and Pre-school in Hertfordshire due to recruitment issues.
A mother of two with additional needs – including cerebral palsy – was left without support to find alternative childcare.
After numerous attempts to get to the truth, parents eventually discovered the nursery knew since June 2018 their lease would not be renewed.
The company was originally provided with three lease extensions until the end of February, but only informed families and staff members at the last moment.
After pressure from parents, the lease is now extended a final time until the 20 March.
Some parents are still struggling to find adequate options in such a short period of time.
Mr Morita added: “The company was not being truthful, ethical or transparent but did honour their contract by giving families one month notice.
“There is no fight at this point.”
Feature image: Gareth Jones / CC BY-SA on wikimedia.