A South London nursery has left parents in “turmoil” after it suddenly announced that it will be closing as it’s been struggling to make money.

In an email sent to parents last month, Co-operative Childcare group said it had made the “difficult decision” to close its Croydon nursery branch because it had been “loss making for some time”.

Co-operative Childcare has given parents only eight weeks notice to find nursery places elsewhere before closing for good on Friday, September 22.

The nursery is located at Croydon University Hospital and is used by a number of NHS staff who need “safe and reliable childcare” while they work on site while local parents also rely on it as they can drop their kids off nearby.

One concerned parent who didn’t want to be identified told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) that the sudden closure has “thrown everything into turmoil” as people are struggling to find nursery places that are nearby.

She said: “It’s not great timing all round but I guess there’s never a good time. It’s very short notice for staff and parents as it’s only eight weeks, I think everyone was very shocked after we received the announcement.”

She added: “The timing is really bad as we’re going into a new school year and the places at nurseries are filling up.

"The staff are undecided, the parents are still undecided. It’s thrown everything into turmoil in some ways.”

A Croydon Health Services spokesperson told the LDRS that it was “saddened” to hear about the closure and that it was looking at ways to support staff who have been impacted by the announcement.

They said: “We are saddened to hear the decision made by Co-operative Childcare to close the long-standing provision of an on-site nursery at our hospital next month.

“Whilst they are separate from the Trust and we are unable to influence their business decision to close, we are focusing our efforts on actively looking at ways to support our staff during this change.”

A spokesperson for The Midcounties Co-operative told the LDRS: “The Midcounties board has taken the difficult decision to close our Croydon nursery from September 22, 2023.

"As a Co-operative business, we regularly review our property footprint to ensure that we are best placed to continue delivering for our members whilst providing long-term support for local communities across the areas we operate in.”

They went on to say: “Unfortunately, the Croydon nursery has been loss making for some time, which has been exacerbated by rising operational costs, and needs significant investment to modernise the facilities.

"We have also been working to identify an alternative location in the area but, regrettably, this has not been possible.”

They added: “We remain focused on ensuring that the children and their families who use the services of our Croydon nursery are able to access childcare at our nearest sites in Sutton and Tadworth, as well as supporting them to ensure the smoothest transition possible.”

The spokesperson said Co-operative Childcare has spent more than £2.3million on refurbishing and opening brand-new nurseries over the past 12 months and wants to double its nurseries over the next five years.