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Update on closure of Orchard Day Nursery and future of childcare provision

by Laura Johnston

Following the closure of Orchard Day Nursery on Monday 20 March, Knowsley Council has been working to support families and staff impacted by this decision. Here is an update on the latest position and clarification on future delivery of childcare in the borough.

What has happened since the nursery closed?

As soon as the Council became aware of the closure it mobilised its Early Years Service to support the families and children impacted. The Service has been working closely with other providers in the borough to bolster capacity and provide any additional support required by settings.

As a result, and thanks to a willingness from other providers, already 160 children (out of approximately 200 children on roll at Orchard Day Nursery) have now secured new provision across a number of settings in Knowsley. The Council has also agreed to underwrite a deposit or the first month’s fees for those families in hardship.

The Knowsley Works team is also supporting staff who have lost their jobs to find alternative employment.

The Council has contacted the owner of Orchard Day Nursery directly, to determine his intentions in relation to reimbursing families and allowing people to access to the property to retrieve any belongings.

Is the Council planning on stepping in to take over the running of nurseries?

No, the Council has no such plans to run nurseries.

Knowsley is already well served by a diverse range of high-quality early years provision. The Council values the broad range of provision that is available within the borough and believes, that overall, the sector is meeting the demands of families well.

The Council will continue to support providers and children and families within the borough to ensure all children get the best possible support during their early years’ development.

Where should families impacted go for help?

If you are a parent / carer who has been impacted by the closure please contact the Family Information Service (telephone (0151)-443 5633 – Option 4 – or email childcare.information@knowsley.gov.uk).

Where should staff impacted go for help?

Staff who were employed by Orchard Day Nursery can contact the Council’s Knowsley Works service for support in securing new employment with other childcare providers in the local area – visit or call the team in Halewood (0151-443 2040), Huyton (0151-443 5010) or Kirkby (0151-443 4780).