A RETIRING nursery boss who says council funding is not enough to maintain ‘outstanding’ standards, is planning to turn the facility into an extension for her home.

Sue Grey, the manager of Hopgarden Day Care located in Carter Clay Road in Lockerley, is set to close the nursery, which has been running for 16 years, in the coming months.

Plans have been lodged with Test Valley Borough Council to turn the nursery – which is attached to Sue’s home – to residential use, extending the property.

Sue said: “We are an Ofsted ‘outstanding’ nursery and the money that we receive from Hampshire County Council is not enough to keep up this high standard.

“The costs of training and safeguarding are very expensive and I don’t want to have to lower the standards.”

The nursery currently receives £4.36 from Hampshire County Council per child per hour for those who qualify for funding.

For those who don’t, it costs £6.70 per or £6.99 per hour

Sue said: “It has been a very difficult decision deciding to close the nursery and I will be very sad.

“My staff have been so loyal and dedicated, it is a real shame.”

The nursery currently has 29 children on its books and four members of staff.

Sue who has worked in childcare for the past 31 years said: “I love working with children and seeing them develop and grow.

“Thanks to word of mouth this nursery has been a success.”

On July 19 Sue and the team at the nursery will host a closing event to celebrate the nursery over the years.

Past and present children and parents will be able to attend and the nursery will host a teddy bears picnic.

Sue said: “Lots of parents have sent me lovely messages since we announced we are going to close and one parent cried.”

Linda Gee, from Romsey who has worked at the nursery since it opened, said:” Sue is a fantastic boss and she puts her heart and soul into the nursery.”

Amy Cunnington, from Timsbury, added: “My son Hugo has been at the nursery for the past two years and he has thoroughly enjoyed his time here. He has developed wonderfully and it has prepared him well.”