Nursery reopens after hundreds sign petition in a bid to save it


A nursery has reopened after hundreds of parents signed a petition to stop it from closing.

Little Handprints, formerly Busy Bees at Sutherland House, Russell Way, Three Bridges, Crawley, opened on Monday (July 28).

Vicki Lendon, 32, who started the petition in February after Busy Bees announced it was closing the venue, said: “It’s the best outcome we could’ve hoped for.

“Everyone is so excited because there’s been such a retention of staff and when we went to the open day everything was so new and everyone’s motivated.”

The nursery, which catered for around 40 children at full capacity, closed due to financial reasons in April.

Parents were told independent business Oscahs would reopen it in May.

Vicki and other mothers criticised communication from Busy Bees after it announced the closure.

She said: “As a minimum they should have been able to secure it to the end of the school year. If they came to us we would have found an alternative.”

Busy Bees offered every child at Sutherland House a place at its nursery in Denvale Trade Park.

Vicki, whose sons Leo, 3, and Blake, 1, attended Sutherland House, added: “I don’t know any parent who wants their child to go to another nursery.”

Vicki wanted to see a governing body set up to protect families from similar closures.

She said: “I cannot understand why schools can’t close one day to the next but nurseries can. It’s so disrupting.”

Oscahs ran the after school club in Three Bridges Junior School until the end of this academic year.

Elaine Beach, who has worked in childcare for some 20 years, took out a business loan and invested some £22,000 to open Little Handprints. Elaine, 54, of The Ridgeway, Horley, said: “It’s a lovely little nursery and I’m very excited and pleased that we are open.

“We will work with parents to make it work, as long as they support us, we’ll support them.”