Staff at a community-run nursery were devastated after being left with no option other than having to close after almost 50 years.

Deputy manager Carly Haslam, of Village Preschool Playgroup in Little Lever, says staff are “heartbroken” about the upcoming closure.

But with rising costs it just became too much to carry on due to it being run by the school’s committee and being a not-for-profit organisation.

Carly says that many of the parents of current children used to come to the nursery themselves, and that it has been generation after generation attending.

One of the staff members also used to attend as a child in 2005.

Carly said: “We are devastated, but it has got to the point where we have no other option.

“It just became too much with the financial cost of everything.

The Bolton News: The Aunties' annual Christmas picture with Father Christmas, and deputy manager Carly Haslam and manager Keely Kira PatrickThe Aunties' annual Christmas picture with Father Christmas, and deputy manager Carly Haslam and manager Keely Kira Patrick (Image: Public)

“We have had past parents coming in and asking for a past and present party for those who came here.

“Some of the children’s parents actually attended too, so it’s generation after generation.

“We are all heartbroken.”

Carly also explained that parents were also finding it difficult with the impact of the cost of living crisis, making it challenging to provide low-cost places.

She said: “We are here for the parents who can’t afford these expensive childcare places.

“I have been a manager for 10 years and we don’t have a large number of staff, and we love our job.

“During Covid, we weren’t really open as much, and as things started back, funding just wasn’t enough for bills and staff’s wages.”

The Bolton News: Carly Haslam reading 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar'Carly Haslam reading 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' (Image: Public)

Carly said that the nursery wanted parents to have as much notice as possible so that they have time to find places in other settings.

She said: “We made this decision as soon as we could with the committee to make sure that these parents have enough time to find places.”

Carly also says that parents have also said that the care at the nursery is unmatched when looking at others.

She added: “When we came to the decision we had a very tearful meeting and it was even worse when we had to send the letter.

“We are one big family.”

Little Lever Cllr Sean Hornby added: “It’s very sad because they have been here a long time and have a very good reputation.

“We have worked well with them over the years.

“When it previously came to the centre, there wasn’t much provision, but now there is a lot of provision.”

The nursery will officially close on July 21.

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