OWNERS of a childcare service in Bournemouth have been left “devastated” after being told they must leave their premises before Christmas.

Husband and wife Simon and Carmela Coady have been providing private childcare from their home in Muscliff for nine years, transforming an initial childminding service into a home-based nursery for up to 60 children.

However, despite providing care for the families of key workers during the height of the pandemic, the couple was informed that their landlord would not renew their lease and they would need to be out by Christmas.

Owner and manager Carmela Coady said: “We’re absolutely devastated. To have this happen so close to Christmas and after all we’ve been through Covid, it’s hard to take.

“But we’ve been given this challenge to overcome. The difference now is we have over 50 families on our books and eight members of staff so it’s not just affecting me, it’s our whole business.”

Bournemouth Echo: Carmela Coady Childcare, originally based in MuscliffCarmela Coady Childcare, originally based in Muscliff

The couple have earmarked a potential new property in Boscombe and are in discussions with the landowner. However, they have not been able to secure a business grant or aid from BCP Council due to the business model not meeting funding criteria.

They have now turned their attention to crowd funding to help with the cost of relocating to a new site.

Carmela added: “We risk losing a lot of our business and the sooner we can get into this new site the better. With the amount of space we’ll have, there will likely be additional space for new families as well which would be great.

“It’s not been easy. We’ve really been looking at grants but most are for charities or non-profit organisations. Even though we’re private, it is a vital service for the community and we want to maintain consistency but, unfortunately, there isn’t awful lot of help.

“We told the parents quickly as we wanted to give them as much notice as possible. Some won’t be able to follow us but thankfully most have said they will. So far, they’ve been incredibly supportive.

“It’s not about the building, it’s about the team and the wonderful community we’ve all created.”

Bournemouth Echo: Carmela Coady Childcare, originally based in MuscliffCarmela Coady Childcare, originally based in Muscliff

Customer Ansy Samuel commented: “I hope you raise the funds you need. I want to believe that every difficult situation has a silver lining, so stay strong. Thank you for everything you have done for us.”

A GoFundMe has been set up with more than £1,000 raised so far. Carmela said: “We are so overwhelmed by everyone's generosity and support and we just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated so far.”

The couple will host a Christmas market fundraising event at Glenmoor Academy on Saturday, December 11 as part of their efforts and have been in touch with fellow businesses in the area.

Visit gofund.me/ea3049d2 for more information.