Raiders caused heartbreak after ransacking a community nursery in Greetland.
The thieves escaped with money and a laptop and forced the nursery to shut for a day due to the damage caused by the break-in.
Thieves targeted Sunnybank Pre School, which operates from Greetland Academy on Saddleworth Road, by breaking in through a side entrance and stole around £300 and a laptop at some point after 4pm on Tuesday and into the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Deputy manager Heather Emsley described the incident as a ‘nightmare’ for everyone involved with the pre-school.
“We are all devastated - we haven’t had the laptop for very long and they have taken the cash tin which had money in from fund raising events and we were going to us e on the nursery,” she said.
“Talking to parents there has been a spate of burglaries in the local area trying to get into pre-schools.
“It’s not only going to hit us hard as we are a community led pre-school but it has caused disruptions for parents who have had to take the day off from work or make alternative arrangements.
“The thief/thieves have smashed through two panels and in very carefully. They have come into the office and ransacked the other cupboards looking for more things.”
The pre-school, which has been opened for eight years, has 35 families on its books and is open in term-time Monday to Friday.
One of the parents has been in touch with the pre-school to have a new alarm fitted and improve the security to prevent a similar incident in the future.
Police advised the nursery not to open on Wednesday so officers could investigate the scene.
Enquiries are still ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 or CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.