THE suspension of a pre-school in north Shropshire has been extended by Ofsted.

The Caterpillars Montessori Pre-School in Welshampton, Ellesmere, shut overnight on Monday, July 17, initially for a six-week period.

But the government organisation has now confirmed that this has been extended.

A spokesperson for the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) said: “I can confirm that the provider’s registration is still suspended and therefore the nursery remains closed. 

Our guidance sets out lengths of suspensions.

“We’re not able to comment any further at this time.”

In their guidance on ‘suspending a childcare provider’, Ofsted explains that an initial suspension of registration lasts for a period of six weeks, while they review their reasons regularly during that time.

They are also monitoring the site to ensure that they do not continue to provide any service that would need registration.

It has been seven weeks since children and parents learned of the sudden closure of the pre-school.

The Ofsted guidance adds: “We may extend the suspension for a further six weeks (to a total of 12 weeks) if we believe the risk of harm to children continues.

“In some circumstances, we can extend the period of suspension beyond 12 weeks if, for reasons outside our control, we cannot complete our enquiries or remove the risk of harm in that time period.

“The most likely reason for this is that other agencies such as the police are involved and need more time to conduct their own investigations.”


The current suspension would see the pre-school closed to mid-October if the full 12-weeks were used.

In the interim parents with children at the pre-school say they have grown concerned on the impact its closure is having.

One family, who wished to remain anonymous, said they can see the effects the suspension had on their two children.

They added: “It is very difficult to find a nursery so last minute.

“We haven’t told our children what happened, but we can see it affected them being taken away from their space.

“We have recognised some behavioral changes, hardships with development and they certainly miss their friends.”

The family, like many others, have found a nursery for now, but they hope things will go back to normal and their children can return to their usual educational space.

They haven’t had any contact with the owners of the nursery, despite their efforts to help.

A GoFundMe page was set up days after the closure, but parents say they have not been able to get the money raised to the nursery.