A NURSERY school in Yate has closed down suddenly over Christmas.

The Happy Days nursery shut down over the holidays and has not reopened since.

The pre-school, which catered for children under the age of five, is understood to have been in debt and the Gazette understands staff had not been paid for some time.

Companies House states that the pre-school is overdue on money owing since August last year and January payment from parents is thought to have been collected leaving them out of pocket.

The nursery, which is next to St Paul’s Catholic Primary School on Sundridge Park, was privately run by Claire McConnell.

The phone line to the school has been disconnected and the pre-school is closed up.

Acting head teacher at St Paul’s school, Janet Dickson, said the nursery was completely separate to the school.

“The building is leased and is run as an independent business,” she said.

It is understood the school was not made aware of the nursery’s imminent closure.

The building is owned by the parish of St Lawrence’s Church in Chipping Sodbury and St Paul’s Church in Yate under the Diocese of Clifton.

Parish priest Father Jim Williams said he was not able to comment on the closure.

The nursery had opened five days a week from 8am to 6pm since it was taken over by Ms McConnell and opened as Happy Days in 2011. It employed 12 people.

The latest Ofsted inspection in October 2013 reported the pre-school was at capacity with 45 children on the roll. It rated Happy Days as good and inspectors praised its extensive range of resources and motivated staff.