Parents have been left "distressed and anxious" after being told their children must leave an award-winning Glasgow nursery that has been breaching capacity rules.

The Pied Piper Nursery in the city's south side has apologised to families after being "ordered" to reduce numbers by the Care Inspectorate to avoid enforcement action.

Owners C&C Nurseries were required to install new toilets five years ago as a condition of registration.

However, according to an email seen by The Herald, the rooms were not remeasured after the work and the service has been exceeding capacity restrictions.

The service is run privately by C&C Nurseries in partnership with Glasgow City Council and was named among Scotland's top 20 day nurseries in 2021 according to parent reviews.

A total of 16 children are required to leave the nursery by the end of August.

"It's very stressful," said Paddy Baxter who has a two-year-old daughter Niamh at the nursery in Shawlands.

"I don't have issues with the standard of care we have had. The staff are all brilliant, it's just the way this has been handled and that management didn't think when the room dimensions changed they should re-measure.

"It's a] a massive oversight and means they must have been operating over-capacity for five years, coining it in."

He said he had contacted 17 nurseries so far without success.

"There are now 16 of us trying to compete for places," said Mr Baxter. "It's obviously about finding the right place as well."

"We feel anxious, distressed and upset.  Niamh has been there since she was 11 months old, she's got wee pals and she's settled so it's a big upheaval."

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He said this had come after the nursery tried to raise the fees and "backtracked after a widespread revolt from parents".


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Claire Bouchot, who has a three-year-old daughter at the nursery, said: "In fairness we got three months' notice but I've just been to another council nursery to put an application form in and there is no guarantee my daughter is going to be able to get in anywhere.

"The way they dealt with it wasn't very good. There's been a few things have happened over the past few weeks including them trying to put up fees by £10 a day and trying to spin it as an extra £1 an hour.

"They sent a letter that said 'Dear parents'  and was completely impersonal. My daughter has been there since she was nine months old and it's like 'that's it, you are out the door'.

"The staff are lovely but it's whoever is running that business and it just reminds you that it is just a business."

Another parent said the situation had raised concerns that fire safety and infection risk may have been compromised.

She said: "No one is telling parents how this happened."

The company said it is one of four nurseries that have been told to reduce capacity and said it was working hard to provide "as much space as possible" for children.

Anita Wilden, Chief Operating Officer said, “Since we were made aware of the decision we have explored ways to maintain the current number of children at a popular nursery however that has not been possible.

"Unfortunately, the only way we can comply with the regulatory requirements is to reduce the number of children on roll.

"We are sincerely sorry that this situation has arisen and doing everything we can to help the families affected to find alternative provision.

"We are working closely with Glasgow City Council to find places at other local nurseries.”

She said parents were informed as soon as it was made aware a reduction in numbers was required.

She added: "We have explained the circumstances, what help we are able to provide and will do everything we can to support their transition to new settings."

The company runs other nurseries in Edinburgh and Whitburn.


A spokeswoman for the Care Inspectorate said: “Services must provide a suitable, safe and engaging environment for all children in their setting. We work with services to ensure the health and wellbeing of children.

“We were contacted by this service regarding capacity issues and have been working with them to resolve the situation.

“We have informed them of the action they must take to ensure children experience a quality of care they and their families expect.

“We understand this is a difficult and distressing time for the families affected.

“Every child in Scotland has the right to good quality, safe care which meets their needs and respects their rights. Anyone with a concern about a service can contact us on 0345 600 9257."