The owner of a nursery based in the Prime Minister's constituency has said she feels "disrespected and disgusted" at having to close due to cost-of-living pressures and lack of government support.

On the day Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is due to deliver his budget, and five months on from Rishi Sunak pledging "world-class" education for the UK, Brambly Hedge Day Nursery in Northallerton has revealed it will shut its doors next month.

Sue Quincey, who has run the nursery for almost 20 years on Crosby Road, has accused the government of taking a "bull in a china shop approach to education", and with council rate costs of £27,400 per year, says she has "little choice" but to close the education setting. 

The Northern Echo: Brambly hedge forest school in NorthallertonBrambly hedge forest school in Northallerton (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

The owner of the nursery, who has revealed that there were floods of tears from staff and parents after the news of the closure broke, has accused Mr Sunak and his government of a "lack of understanding" for early education. 

She said: "We've been left in limbo about what the funding situation is going to be, and only Thursday last week did we find out the rates had dropped from what we were originally told the funding was going to be.

"Nurseries up and down the country are having to close because of the new revelations about funding.

"It has been hard for funding - it's not free and the Government don't understand this fact. We play a crucial part as early educators."

Alongside the initial issues of closure, it has been exacerbated by the fact that Brambly Hedge Day Nursery have already accepted children from six expectant mothers in the community - a fact that Sue feels has "let down parents".

The Northern Echo: Sue Quincy, owner of Brambly Hedge Forest School in NorthallertonSue Quincy, owner of Brambly Hedge Forest School in Northallerton (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Following the announcement of the nursery closure, it will shut its doors for the final time on Thursday, April 4.

Sue added: "I feel so disrespected and disgusted that we have to battle with costs - the council rates we have to pay has hit £27,400 a year - that is ludicrous when they know I am not even anywhere near full.

"The government is looking to fast-track staff into childcare and fast-track young people in the industry - but you wouldn't fast-track a pilot to fly a plane, why's it the same in childcare?"

The owner of the Northallerton-based nursery isn't the only one who has been left outraged by the closure - with an education association also calling on the government for more support.

The Northern Echo: Jonathan Broadbery, director of Policy at Yorkshire-based National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA)Jonathan Broadbery, director of Policy at Yorkshire-based National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) (Image: NDNA)

Jonathan Broadbery, director of Policy at Yorkshire-based National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), has called on Mr Sunak to be "fully aware of the challenges our crucial sector is facing".

He said: “It’s heartbreaking for any nursery to have to make this decision because of the huge impact closing has on children, families, staff and the community as a whole.

The Northern Echo: Prime Minister Rishi SunakPrime Minister Rishi Sunak (Image: PA MEDIA)

"Those nurseries who close their doors for good cite similar issues to Brambly Hedge: where costs including wages, business rates and energy bills are soaring but government funding rates have not kept pace."

Mr Broadbery has also highlighted that North Yorkshire providers receive the lowest funding rate along with around forty other local authorities, many of which are in deprived areas.


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He added: "This setting closing in Northallerton shows that nurseries in all parts of the country are affected, even those in the Prime Minister’s own backyard.

"He needs to be fully aware of the challenges our crucial sector is facing and the Government must recognise that providers need urgent support to be able to thrive and deliver the two-year-old expansion from April."

The Northern Echo approached the office of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and was told that Mr Sunak wouldn't be commenting on the story.