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Forget-me-Knotts Nursery Closure 1 October 2004

Staff and parents who arrived at Forget-me-Knotts Nursery on Monday found it closed with a note on the door to that effect. The note stated that the Department of Health and Social Security were responsible for the sudden closure.

Steve Rodan MHK, Minister for Health and Social Security, said:

"The Forget-me-Knotts Nursery had been operating without registration since 2 August 2004. Under the Children and Young Persons Act 2001, it is an offence liable to prosecution to operate a day care facility for children under the age of eight without being registered. The Department's Social Services Division wrote to the Directors of Chanvic, the company who ran the nursery, on 22 September, advising them as to the current status of their application, and seeking outstanding information from them."

The owners of the nursery had not notified some parents that it was not registered. Although an application, which has now been withdrawn by the applicants, was being processed, all the criteria in respect of some staff qualifications and police checks had not been completed.

The Department has a duty to ensure that such facilities meet minimum standards for the protection of the public and to ensure that unregistered facilities do not operate and in this case, it was our considered view that the operation may be putting the public at risk.

The process of registration and the standards, are the same for all day care providers of facilities for children under the age of eight. This application was handled in the normal way.

David Cooke, Director of Social Services said:

"A letter was sent on the 22 September to all parents who we knew of, advising them that the nursery was not registered and including information about alternative facilities. We have been contacted by a number of other parents of whom we were not aware because they were not on the list supplied to us by the Directors of Chanvic."

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