The manager of an after school club in Chiswell Green said she is ‘gutted’ that the doors of the club will be forced to close at the end of the year.

Jacqui Port, who has been running Digi Kidz after school club at Greenwood Park Leisure Centre for ten years, will have to stop services at the club because of a lack of staff.

The after school club in Tippendell Lane, runs two and three hour sessions for youngsters between the ages of four and 12 every Tuesday to Thursday.

The club attracts around 21 children and Jacqui informed the children’s parents yesterday (Thursday).

Jacqui, owner and manager of the club, said: “It has come at such a bad time.

“Some of my members of staff were leaving to go back to university and take other employment opportunities and unfortunately other members were looking to retire.

“Therefore we have been forced to close due to lack of staff.

“We have decided to close in December, after the children’s first school term because that would be the best time for parents to have enough time to make other arrangements.

“I am gutted and it’s very disappointing for the children who have become settled here.

“As it stands we will close our doors in December, but I am all for people coming forward that would be interested in working here with the children.”

Jacqui had earlier problems in the year, due to lack of children and staff and was forced to cut days down in the week from five- days-a-week to three-days-a-week. 

Since the changes by OFSTED to ensure 100 percent of childcare works are fully qualified, rather than the previous requirement of 50 percent, it has meant some of the staff at Digi Kidz could no longer work there.

One parent whose six-year-old son goes to the Digikidz after school club three days a week, described the club as “fantastic”.

“My little boy absolutely loves it,” he said. “It’s a safe place he can go to try all sorts of activities, run around with his friends and have fun rather than just being stuck in front of a television or on a computer the whole time.

“After school clubs like Digikidz are a lifeline to parents who work.

I’m sure there are many like us who will be frantically trying to find alternative affordable cover when it closes.

If we can’t find any, either my wife or I may have to give up work, which would make our lives a lot harder in all sorts of ways, but especially financially of course.

“You would think that in a school the size of Killigrew, where our son is one of 90 or so in his year, there would  be enough interest to keep a club like Digikidz alive if not thriving.

“ Maybe other parents don’t know about it.”