Friday, 8th July, 2011
The struggling Lilliput Early Learning Centre was handed over to the liquidators on Wednesday following months of uncertainty about its future.
Children were still under care when the centre’s remaining three employees were told at 3.20pm that the centre had been handed over to Brisbane-based liquidating firm, Insolvency and Turnaround Solutions.
The closure comes just weeks after owner Kerry Moreton had to dismiss one employee and stop providing care to infants under two years of age when the State Government reduced the child to carer ratio to 1:4 earlier this year.
The BDT understands the centre was forced to close its doors for financial reasons.
Sandra Miller, who worked full-time for the centre for 12 years, was phoned by Ms Moreton on Wednesday and told to inform other staff not to come to work the next day.
“It’s a big shock,” she said.
“This morning, all we did was cry.
“We’ve been calling parents today and they’ve been coming and collecting (personal belongings.)
“Parents and grandparents have been in and they’re in tears.”
Kristy Hurley, who was employed for five years at the Bagot Street day care centre, said they didn’t see it coming.
“They’ve been saying for a few months now the centre is fine,” she said.
“They were struggling but we were just hoping numbers would pick up.”
Ms Hurley and colleague Kandy Dart worried about the many children enrolled in the centre who are now without day care.
“They were all settled,” Ms Hurley said.
“They (other centres) pretty much are full,” Ms Dart added.
Deepti Kumar’s daughter was enrolled at the centre for more than two years, and she said she now has to find another long-day care centre.
She spent yesterday on the phone to the city’s other day care centers trying to find a place for her four-year-old daughter.
“For me it was late notice.
“What about working parents? How do they manage?”
Currently on holidays from her work at TAFE, Ms Kumar worried about finding the same rapport at a different day care centre.
Ms Miller said it isn’t the first time the centre has been forced to shut its doors.
“It was community based and they had to close it then for financial reasons.”
The centre shut its doors in April 2003, and re-opened later that year after a Queensland company bought the business.
Former owner and operator, Kerry Moreton refused to comment yesterday afternoon, saying she was too “emotional.”