Parents’ anger over sudden closure of Cookstown child care centre

The locked gates at Early Years Daycare on Sweep Road, Cookstown

The locked gates at Early Years Daycare on Sweep Road, Cookstown

  • by Sheena McStravick

Parents have spoken of their anger and shock after a daycare centre was closed suddenly this week.

A padlock chain was attached to the gates of the Early Years Daycare on Sweep Road in Cookstown on Monday morning, in what is believed to be a dispute between the landlord and owner of Early Years.

Parents had expected to drop their children off as normal but instead some had to make alternative arrangements.

The Mid Ulster Mail understands some of the children were transferred to the nursery’s other premises in Stewartstown.

The building on Sweep Road in Cookstown is owned by local business man Raymond Turkington and proprietor of the Early Years Daycare nursery is Amanda Ferguson.

One concerned parent contacted the Mid Ulster Mail to express her disappointment and anger at the situation.

She told the MAIL: “I arrived at the nursery on Monday morning (19 May) and found other parents and some staff members standing around outside. We were given a letter by one of the staff members which read, ‘To all the parents, carers and staff, due to circumstances beyond our control, no-one can enter the daycare as the landlord has changed the locks.’

“A lot of parents are now stuck because of this. I think a few parents took their children to the Stewartstown premises but most of them had to make other arrangements themselves.”

The parent, who did not wish to be identified added that not only had they been left without child care they have also been left out of pocket: “Parents are always told we have to pay for the daycare a week in advance, so we paid last week for this week’s nursery and now I have paid over £100 for this week and the place is closed! I have had to take days off work to sort this out, I don’t know how it will work with school runs.

“This is completely unacceptable,” she added.

The Mid Ulster Mail contacted Early Years Daycare at their Stewartstown premises, but as yet no-one has responded to our query.




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