MINDLESS vandals ruined the first day back for children at a pre-school as volunteers discovered their play area had been torn to pieces.
Staff at the Early Years at Lightcliffe nursery returned on Monday after the Summer holidays to set up for the new school year.
However, they discovered play equipment in their outside area had been damaged and smashed to bits.
Joint pre-school leader Helen Grayshon said they had similar problems last year but not to the severity of the latest incident.
“It’s really disappointing this has happened,” she said. “We were all looking forward to coming back.
“We went into the play area and were shocked to see what had been done.
“The sand pit had been smashed and the trampoline was broken. There was also damage to the climbing frame and slide.
“They have also been climbing on the roof of the outdoor shed.
“The children can’t play out now and it makes you angry that people will do this sort of thing.”
The charity run group based at the Christ church at Lightcliffe, on Leeds Road which has been established for around 15 years, could be set for more heartache in replacing the equipment.
Most of the items had been donated or paid for by grants or fund raising that the group has done.
The committee is currently looking into the insurance situation but may have to repair or buy new play items for the children.
The pre-school is set to continue with more indoor activities to keep the youngsters happy and healthy.
Police are looking into the incident and were called to reports of criminal damage and a gate on the fencing being pulled off.
Anyone witnesses or people with information should contact police on 0845 6060606.