CHILDREN have been left "upset" after vandals broke into their nursery school and damaged equipment.

Vandals broke into a shed at Little Gems Preschool in Hedge End last night.

They damaged children's displays and left toys strewn around the outside play area in Moorgreen Road.

Daily Echo:

The school for children between two and five-years-old was closed this morning so staff could do a deep-clean in light of coronavirus virus fears and to "remove broken play equipment".

Acting manager, Lorena Boyes said: "I came straight into the garden and it had been vandalised. They had removed a memorial bench and left rubbish.

"We have had to delay reopening. We had to wash the outdoor area.

"It is a safe place for children. We are just very hurt and upset. They have had lots of changes [because of coronavirus] and it's quite difficult for them to understand. It's upsetting for them. We have worked really hard to reopen in this current situation. Some of the parents are key workers."

A police spokesperson said: "The pre-school garden at Moorgreen Youth Club in Moorgreen Road, has been broken into and damage caused.

"The incident occurred between 10pm on June 16 and 8am on June 17. Displays and padding have been damaged and the shed containing outdoor toys has been broken into.

"It does not appear that anything has been stolen but damage has been caused and items thrown around the garden."

Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101 quoting reference 44200218935.

As previously reported West End Preschool was "completely ransacked" by vandals, just three days before it was scheduled to reopen.

Daily Echo:

Staff were "extremely disappointed" to find that the front door of their building had been kicked through on Saturday, June 6.

Children's play equipment was "substantially damaged" and beer was splattered up walls.

The school was forced to push back its reopening by a week for the mess to be cleared away and a deep clean to take place.

At the time, preschool manager, Lesley Hicks described being "heartbroken".

Daily Echo:

She said: "This is so upsetting for all of us. 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 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."