MYSTERY surrounds the sudden closure of an ‘Outstanding’ rated Bournemouth nursery.

Parents arrived at the Queens Park Pre-school in East Way on Monday morning to discover a notice tied to the locked gates which said the school, which is believed to look after around 70 children, will be ‘closed this week’.

Parent Stacey Verhaak, who contacted the Echo, and who has two boys at the pre-school, said: “I literally got an email this morning and that was all I got. I contacted the council but they don’t know what happened, either.”

She said another parent had claimed it was down to ‘funding and staff issues’ and that it had closed last Thursday for the day and it was unclear to her whether it would open again.

Like the other parents, she had just paid the term’s fees but was now concerned about getting her children a nursery place.

“My partner owns a business and I do his books which means I’m completely stuck at the moment because all the nearby pre-schools are full,” she said.

Another parent, who asked not to be named, described how she arrived at the school and found the closure notice. “I was told that staff had been made redundant on Thursday,” she said.

The Echo contacted local councillor John Adams who said he didn’t know anything about the closure either. “I don’t know about this but it seems a terrible shame as so many people rely on them," he said. "I think I will have to go along and see what’s going on.”

Bournemouth Borough Council said had been informed of the sudden closure and in a statement, Kay Errington, Acting Service Director, Children, Young People and Families advised that:

"Parents who access a funded entitlement place at another provision for the week will need to pay for that place then seek financial recompense from Queen’s Park Pre-School. Alternatively they can pay for the short term place and then negotiate with Queens Park Pre School for additional hours to make up what they are owed.

“Those who don’t take up an alternative place this week will also need to negotiate compensatory hours when the provision reopens.

“Our Bournemouth Children’s Information Service provides free impartial advice to parents seeking an early years or childcare place for their child in Bournemouth. They can be contacted via 01202 456222.’’

All attempts to contact the pre-school's manager, Amy Sargeant, have gone unanswered.

News of the school’s sudden closure comes just three years after it received and Outstanding rating from Ofsted.

Inspectors said the staff showed ‘inspiring enthusiasm’ in their work, continually identifying ' new ways to maintain the highest achievement for all children'.

“ The children are highly confident and show an excellent level of independence," said the Inspectors' report. "The play environment is carefully organised to support the children's learning extremely well. The staff work together exceptionally well.”