A HAMPSHIRE preschool has been left "completely ransacked" by vandals, just three days before it was scheduled to reopen to children.

Staff at West End Preschool were "extremely disappointed" to find that the front door of their building had been forced open on Saturday June 6.

Inside the school, there was substantial damage to the children's play equipment, and while nothing was taken, resources were thrown across the room and beer was splattered over the walls.

While a phased return of children was due to take place on Tuesday, this has now been pushed back until at least Thursday June 11 to allow time for the mess to be cleared away and a deep clean to take place.

Preschool manager, Lesley Hicks is "heartbroken" that while the world is already suffering so much, people can trash a building that is supposed to be a "safe and secure environment" for children.

She said: "This is so upsetting for all of us at West End Preschool. We were told on Sunday morning that the door was left wide open and when we looked inside, the place was completely ransacked and vandalised. The door and the play equipment were damaged, there was beer splattered everywhere. Everything was such a mess.

"It's so upsetting because myself and the staff spent so much time preparing everything, cleaning it ready for the children to come back, they were all looking forward to it.

"Nothing was even taken, not even the computers! It was a mindless, thoughtless act and I'm so disappointed. While the world is suffering so much at the moment, how can people still do something like this? This is supposed to be a safe and secure environment for children!

The preschool, which is also a registered charity, has had to pay for all of the damages, as well as another deep clean of the building with the aim of being able to re-open by Thursday.

A statement on the schools Facebook Page said: "We hope these people feel proud that the devastation that they have caused has cost our preschool (a charity) money that we desperately need to keep our preschool open over the coming months during Covid 19 pandemic. We will overcome this and we pity you, the despicable thoughtless people that you are."