A number of parents face having to find alternative childcare after it was confirmed a coastal nursery will close for good. 

Polka Day Care, in Wells, is set to shut down permanently after it was found to no longer be a viable business. 

It means several employees will be made redundant. 

Fakenham & Wells Times: Norfolk County Council has failed to find an alternative provider for Polka Day Care in WellsNorfolk County Council has failed to find an alternative provider for Polka Day Care in Wells (Image: PA)

News of the centre's potential closure first emerged in October and prompted a host of concerns from families and staff who rely upon Polka Day Care. 

At the time, Alpha Nurseries, which has run the centre since June, claimed "discrepancies" surrounding the building's lease were to blame.

Following conversations with Norfolk County Council (NCC) and Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk, Alpha agreed to stay at the helm until an alternative provider could be found

However, those attempts proved unsuccessful and Polka Day Care is highly unlikely to reopen after Christmas. 

NCC said Alpha had taken the decision to close permanently, while Alpha added that the council had failed to find a new provider. 

John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services at NCC, said families would be supported over the coming weeks. 

Fakenham & Wells Times: John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services at Norfolk County CouncilJohn Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services at Norfolk County Council (Image: Norfolk County Council)

"Our early years team has been working closely with Alpha Nurseries for some months to do all we could to support them to stay open at least until the end of the Autumn term.

"This helped to prevent the nursery from closing at short notice in October and causing significant disruption to children and families.

"But now that the company has decided the nursery will close permanently, we understand families in the Wells area will be worried.

"While we don’t run nurseries, it is our role to make sure there are enough childcare places and to support early years settings with training and advice, and families with finding suitable childcare.

"Our recent assessments have found there are enough places in existing childcare providers for three and four-year-old children. We will be offering support to a small number of families with younger children and babies to find alternative childcare."

A spokesman for Alpha Nurseries said the company had been willing to keep running Polka Day Care for several more months.

He added: "We were quite happy to continue operating while the council reached out to other providers.

"In early December we were told they were not making headway, so we were going to run Polka until Easter. 

"However, the council recently emailed us saying they could not find an alternative provider because no one deemed it commercially viable."

Fakenham & Wells Times: Duncan Baker, MP for North NorfolkDuncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Baker, who brokered the initial talks between NCC and Alpha after hearing from worried parents, said he was told there were not enough children to make Polka a viable business. 

He said the decision would serve as a huge blow to young families. 

"I am extremely disappointed that the county council has not worked to our original agreement which was to find a replacement childcare operator for the Polka nursery," he added. 

"If Wells is going to be a community where young families can settle down, they need a local childcare provider just as so many of our other towns have.

"It is simply not the case that all families have found an alternative provider. Some may have, but at great cost and additional travelling expense, which is why we want to still try and find a provider for Wells."