Friday, 19 August 2022

Village kindergarten saved

A CHILDREN’S nursery has been saved from closure.

A CHILDREN’S nursery has been saved from closure.

Carla Perona has taken over Kingfisher Kindergarten, which takes place every weekday morning during term time at Eye and Dunsden village hall in Dunsden Green.

The mother-of-three, who lives in Caversham Heights, has stepped in after the previous owner Anita Pearce announced her retirement.

She left her career in retail management after having her first child eight years ago but wanted to get back to work after her youngest son Jack, four, reached school age.

Mrs Perona, whose children all attended the kindergarten, is now running it with her mother Anne Stevenson, who used to work in education, helping schools to write their policies and procedures. The nursery is managed by Veronica Gallagher, who has been promoted from her previous role as supervisor.

The number of children registered at Kingfisher has increased from nine to 28. Places are still available but it is approaching capacity on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Mrs Perona said: “We had an email about the closure earlier this year and most parents were absolutely gutted because Kingfisher has such an excellent reputation.

“It’s in a beautiful location with a friendly atmosphere and some great stuff, so they felt they were going to really struggle to find anywhere that compared with it.

“They were all saying I should take it over since I wanted to go back to work. At first it was just a joke but I soon began seriously considering it and officially took over in April. I knew it would be a bit of a challenge but it has gone incredibly well.

“We only managed to secure the hall two weeks before I took charge but since then the feedback has been really great.

“The staff are obviously glad that they’ve still got their jobs and the parents are really pleased that such a popular facility is staying.

“It was a real jump in the deep end for me after being out of work for so long but I couldn’t be happier with how it’s going.”

• A coffee morning held at Kingfisher on Friday raised £141 for Macmillan Cancer Support. About 30 parents attended.

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