Former Rover workers whose children go to the company creche have been told that money deducted from their wages for childcare has vanished - leaving the nursery on the verge of closure.

MG Rover workers with children at Longbridge nursery Mini Rovers had money for their offspring's childcare taken out of their salaries in April.

But on Monday they were told by Mini Rovers managers that funds taken for April's care did not reach the nursery - leaving them unable to pay staff wages. If the bill, which runs into tens of thousands, is not paid the nursery is expected to close by the start of next week.

Currently 34 children of former Rover employees attend the nursery, which is run by the Staffordshire-based nursery chain, Busy Bees.

Their places are subsidised but still cost workers approximately £20 per day.

Patrick Connell, a former rectifier at MG Rover, has sent his daughter Melissa, aged four, to Mini Rovers for three years, for three days a week. His partner Diane works as a secretary while he scours the city for a new job.

"Money was taken out of my wage for April by Rover," said Mr Connell, aged 36. "But we were told by nursery staff that Rover had not forwarded the money to them, and that it had not got enough money for the next month.

"We thought she was safe in her nursery place amidst all the misery of current events. It is hard enough for us to keep our spirits up without this. She loves nursery." He said it would be virtually impossible to find Melissa another nursery place for the coming months, as she starts school in September.

"Rover should come up with their dues," he added.

Keelie Leahy, operations manager at Mini Rovers, said the future of the nursery, which employs 25 staff, depended on it receiving a grant from the Government's Early Years Child Care Development Partnership to tide them over.

"We are trying to recover some of the money taken out of salaries," said Ms Leahy. "These parents were of the impression that the money had been paid for child care.

"The real situation was brought to our attention, however we understood that the information would be posted out to parents by company representatives. It is not our place to do so, but we had to let parents know there is a debt that needs to be paid."

Ms Leahy said the welfare of the children involved had to be paramount.

"Some parents have taken out loans for the fees for May so there is not the disruption in their children's lives.

"There is lots going on at home and they need somewhere stable.

"We are now in the position where we have to pay staff and we don't have money to do that.

"If we don't get it we are looking at potentially closing the nursery on Friday."

A spokesmen for MG Rover administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers said: "We are aware of the issue and are investigating to see if we can find a solution."