A Hong Kong nursery group and single-site kindergarten that were in operation for more than 20 years have reportedly shut down, leaving parents and teachers out of pocket at a time of economic distress.

According to the South China Morning Post, Alison’s Letterland International Kindergarten, and Baby Buddies International Playgroup & Nursery – founded in 1996 and 1997, respectively – closed on 26 March.

Parents and teachers reportedly told the English-language newspaper that “they have not had any communication with Alison Euler, the founder and manager of Alison’s Letterland International Kindergarten and Baby Buddies International Playgroup, or her husband Sven, who is also a director of the schools, since March 26 when an email was sent telling parents of the closure”.

According to the report, the nurseries were “struggling financially”.

The South China Morning Post reported that numerous parents were owed thousands of Hong Kong dollars in refunds for deposits on contracts that were not honoured.

The collapse of the nurseries – if true – highlights how current operating conditions ushered in by Covid-19, which has forced nurseries and schools to close in Hong Kong and dozens of other countries, can be fatal.

According to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s Education Bureau said it was aware of the closure of Alison’s Letterland International Kindergarten, while Baby Buddies International Playgroup “was not a registered school under its jurisdiction”.

“Regarding inquiries from parents on fees matters, due advice was provided to Alison’s Letterland International Kindergarten/Child Care Centre and the school was reminded to handle the matters appropriately,” a spokesman reportedly said.

“We will continue to maintain communication with the school to follow up on matters related to its closure and provide support to parents as appropriate.”

Date published: 30 April 2020

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