NOT all schools and nurseries in the district are returning as lockdown measures come to an end.

The 345 Preschool in Alresford has closed its doors permanently following a "difficult few years".

In 2019, Ofsted rated it as inadequate twice within the space of six months. Now the health crisis has proven to the be final straw.

"It is with great sadness that we must announce that 345 Preschool will not be reopening after the summer holidays," the preschool posted on Facebook.

"It has been a difficult few years for the preschool, with low birth rates, limitations to opening hours and the Covid-19 pandemic impacting on the future financial viability of the preschool.

"Despite a lot of work to try to prevent its closure, the ongoing impact of the pandemic limiting the changes that are able to be made has meant that there is no alternative but to close the preschool. "

345 was opened in 1970 by local residents in response to the need for a playgroup in the area.

The post continues: "In its more than 50 years of operation it has been hugely lucky to see so many local children make the transition from preschool to 'big school'.

"There have been many changes along the way - moving from playgroup to preschool, changes in staff, the opening up to younger children - but it has been a wonderful place for everyone involved (as we are sure many of you will agree).

"The current team have worked tirelessly throughout the lockdown period to keep in touch with current families, making sure that the children have been kept busy with activity packs, and ensuring a wonderful socially distanced graduation for the school leavers.

"A big thank you to all parents and children of 345 both past and present, and all those who have made donations, whether with money, raffle prizes, time or effort over the years to keep the preschool going.

"An even bigger thank you to all the staff who have worked at the setting over the past 50 years. Without each and every one of them the preschool would not have been the wonderful setting that it will forever be known for."

The Chronicle has contacted the preschool and awaits a response.