A NURSERY which suddenly closed, leaving unpaid staff in dismay, has reopened as a soft play centre.

At the end of April, staff and parents of Ladybird Kindergarten, Wyke, received a message telling them the nursery would be shutting its doors with “immediate effect”.

A number of staff members got in touch with the Telegraph & Argus to say their wages had not been paid and hit out at the situation.

The closure followed two damning inspections from education watchdog Ofsted, which rated the nursery, on Main Street, inadequate in October last year and in March of this year.

The last inspection found serious issues with safeguarding, hygiene, and care for children with special needs.

Now one month, the building is being used for ‘Little Roos soft play centre’ and says it is in association with Riverside Day Nursery.

When Ladybird Kindergarten closed, director Parminder Singh said there had been a “great deal of turmoil and disagreement” with Bradford Council and said the authority had failed to reinstate early years funding.

Mr Singh said they were owed a “significant amount of money for services rendered” and there was a £74,000 deficit.

He added that Ofsted’s rating had been “totally detrimental” and said: “We were unable to recover this position due to no funding and support and a very low staff morale ensued amongst our remaining staff - many having been dismissed with some having walked out.”

Mr Singh said he had done everything within his power to sustain the business, but it was not viable to continue and staff would have been paid as an “absolute first priority” had interim funding being paid.

At the time, Gladys Rhodes White, Interim Director of Children’s Services, said: “We aren’t able to comment on specific cases, but national early years regulations state that we can only provide funding to establishments which deliver early education and childcare to a high standard as judged by Ofsted.

“We do work with nurseries to help them achieve this.”

When asked about the opening of the new soft play centre, Mr Singh said there are seven years remaining on the lease for the building, which is currently his responsibility.

He said: “There are a number of external investors who have elected to assist with a new enterprise which has no connection with my previous business which did close suddenly.”

Mr Singh accused the Council of acting with “extreme bias” and causing the collapse of the business.

He said: “I am still resolving this matter and endeavour to ensure that all creditors are paid once historic funding is paid, as such the staff are considered ‘preferred creditors’ so they would get paid first since the company has ceased trading.

“Whilst I have empathy with the dire position faced by one and all, I am trying to rescue the situation the best I can.

“In my humble opinion any business that supersedes the one that sadly collapsed would allow for some restitution to be paid to those individuals who were compromised and understandably aggrieved.”

Bradford Council was contacted for comment, but did not wish to add to the statement previously issued.