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Preschool closes for good

Scuola Montessori childcare centre in Solway will close permanently with immediate effect.

Owners David and Lorraine Mercer sent a notice to parents yesterday announcing the decision to close.

“It is with great sadness we inform you that we have made the very hard decision to now permanently close our doors,” it said.

The centre’s license was suspended two-and-a-half weeks ago.

After receiving an anonymous complaint, the Ministry of Education [MoE] investigated the childcare centre.

The investigation found the centre non-compliant with staffing ratios, health and safety, and child safety requirements.

Scuola’s license to operate was suspended on August 3, and parents were told to come and collect their children; 48 children were enrolled there.

At the time, the Mercers were on holiday in Bangkok.

Yesterday’s note to parents said the anonymous complaint, which was lodged against Scuola Masterton and one of its teachers, was “unsubstantiated.”

“[The complaint] swiftly culminated in our license being suspended and our doors closed,” it said

The Mercers said the centre submitted evidence to MoE that it had met the requested conditions to restore its license but would not wait for the outcome.

“We find we are no longer in a position to wait for this resolution,” they said.

“Once our license has been reissued, we will be taking a period for healing and reinvention.”

The note thanked parents for supporting the childcare centre since it opened in 2020 and wished them well for their children’s future education.

The Times-Age has been unable to contact the owners since the initial licence suspension on August 3.

Scuola Montessori was a three-centre chain; the other two centres in Tauranga remain open.

Wairarapa Montessori on Lincoln Rd, which is unaffiliated with Scuola, is now the only centre in the region to offer a fulltime Montessori early childcare service.


  1. Am so sorry to hear as it’s ideal to have the childcare centre closer to primary school if older siblings attend there… My concern is location with high traffic and heavy load trucks 😬

    Otherwise I believe in Montessori learning models.

    Best Wishes

Comments are closed.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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