Oops-a-Daisy Childcare owner says work will ‘end up killing her’

Deborah Baigent, the owner of Oops-a-Daisy Childcare, which closed suddenly yesterday, has blamed parents and staff for the provision’s failure.

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Deborah Baigent © BBC

The Kembrey Park-based nursery, which has been ‘requiring improvement’ for years, closed at 2.30pm on Wednesday, 3 February, despite telling parents and carers that the provision would close its doors for good on 18 March.

The Baigent family recently featured on the BBC television show Wanted Down Under, on January 22, a show that features families considering emigrating from the UK to either Australia or New Zealand.

In the programme, Deborah said: “It would be unbearable to carry on the way we are. Especially, my work-life balance. It’s going to end up killing me I think, to be honest.”

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Deborah Baigent © BBC

The BBC reported that she worked around 70 hours per week and had been taken into hospital for a suspected heart attack in 2012.

In a letter released to parents and carers with children at Oops-a-Daisy Childcare, she explained a new manager was running the nursery and that she was “feeling out of her depth” when it came to pursuing payment from parents.

During Deborah’s absence, “many parents started to fall behind with their childcare fees and as a new manager M**** was initially feeling out of her depth in pursuing these arrears.  These parents have continued to mount up debts to the nursery in arrears of thousands of pounds, which obviously upon my return I have been trying to claim back”.

Oops-a-Daisy Childcare 1

She went on to explain that new manager M**** had upset other staff members, something which “resulted in those two team members having to take time off for stress”.

Deborah went on to confirm that she has sold her family home, and has not taken a wage in many months to ensure that the nursery’s staff and bills were paid.

Yesterday, 3 February, an Ofsted spokesperson said: “This provider told us she wanted to resign her Ofsted registration with immediate effect.”