A Galashiels nursery is to close at the end of this month with the loss of 11 jobs.
Owner Lesley Anderson blamed increasing difficulties in making ends meet for her decision to shut Limelight Childcare, in Wilderhaugh.
She claimed the business she started in 2011 – offering 32 places a day for theunder-fives – is currently losing £2,000 a month and is no longer sustainable.
“This has been one of the most difficult and distressing decisions I’ve ever had to make,” said Mrs Anderson, a former nurse and healthcare lecturer.
“I’ve tried everything to keep us afloat, even personally working 60 hours a week and not taking a wage for the past six months, but, sadly, it’s not been enough.
“Over the past five years, we’ve been consumed by negative economic factors.
“First, there is the matter of our business rates, which are now higher than our rent. It means I have to find £1,000 a month just to open the doors.
“Then there is the Scottish Government’s funding of pre-school places at private nurseries, which is much less than that paid to local authority providers.
“We were told our hourly rate for pre-school children would rise by 5% each year, but this has not materialised for the past two years.
“While the amount we are paid has stayed at £3.65 per child per hour, the costs of providing the service have continued to spiral.
“Despite our commitment, it’s heartbreaking that we’ve simply been overwhelmed by increasing financial burdens initiated at central government level without the means of supporting small businesses like ours which are required to implement them.
“I am genuinely devastated for my brilliant team of staff who will now be out of work – individuals who been loyal and committed to providing an excellent level of care for each child and family using our service.”