Parents shocked as Bognor Regis nursery goes into liquidation day before new term

Little Monsters Daycare in Bognor Regis (Photo: Connor Gormley)
Little Monsters Daycare in Bognor Regis (Photo: Connor Gormley)

The daycare centre, which provides for children aged six months to four years old, announced it would be closing on Facebook last night, and parents say they were given almost no notice.

"Little Monsters has unfortunately gone into liquidation,” the post says. “More info to follow on the liquidating practitioner. Many apologies”

The news comes despite the fact that Little Monsters Daycare was advertising for part-time vacancies as recently as August 22, with roles available throughout the week for staff members looking to work with children aged up to five-years-old.

Many parents feel short-changed by the lack of notice, especially since some claim to have already paid for the school year ahead, and have yet to see a refund.

"At four o’clock yesterday, the owner told us all that, until further notice, and due to unforeseen circumstances, the day care wouldn’t be open. A lot of people asked what was going on and she ignored all of them,” one disgruntled parent said. “Then a few hours later, she posted about liquidation on Facebook. She had to know she was going into liquidation when she was chasing us up to pay her fees. When we went over there to pick up our stuff, there was a man there with one of his children and it was supposed to be her first day. They took on new children and accepted their money.”

Parents who use the service have now been forced to find alternative child care provision at short notice: at the beginning of the school term, with far fewer places available.

"My partner and I both work. I’m back at work next week and I need to find somewhere to send our child. Not only that, but we’ve already paid out, and now I have to try and find that money again.

"It’s horrible. Our child has additional needs, and they were so happy there, but now they don’t know what’s going on.”

The liquidation comes after Ofsted inspectors expressed concerns about the business earlier this year. A report published in May claimed that the nursery was failing to meet a number of statutory requirements, although corrective action was eventually taken.

"On 3rd May 2023, we carried out a regulatory visit, We found the provider was not meeting some of the requirements and had taken action to put this right,” the report says. “The provider failed to identify signs of possible abuse and neglect. Furthermore, children's behaviour was not managed in an appropriate way. The provider has reviewed their behaviour management policy to ensure children receive the support they need. They have improved their knowledge and understanding of child protection procedures so that they know when to make referrals to relevant professions.”

The day care registered with Ofsted in February this year, some time after a previous nursery at the same address – First Steps @ Bersted – closed down. Little Monsters Daycare has been approached for comment.