Thursday, 22 November 2018

Pre-School closes its doors as final pupils graduate

Pre-School closes its doors as final pupils graduate

THE final group of children to attend Kidmore End Pre-School has finished.

It will now close after 35 years due to a drop in demand and funding problems.

Their final day was Thursday last week where a “graduation” ceremony was held for the pupils and their parents.

Marquees were set up in the garden of the nursery, at the parish room, in Wood Lane, so they could be protected from the sun.

Each child was presented with a book from the pre-school to commemorate their time there. Before the ceremony the children played party games, had a lunch and there was a performance by children’s entertainer Bertie Slippers. When the parents arrived, cake and glasses of fizz were served.

Nicky Liddon-Horncastle, the manager of the pre-school, said: “The final day went really well. We ended on a high and a celebration after 35 years.

“It was a really happy occasion and all the children will now be going on to the primary school in the village.”

The pre-school had been run as a charity, overseen by a group of parents, but had been making a loss. This year it cut the number of days it was open from four to three.

At its peak it could hold up to 14 children a day but most of the time it was getting between six and eight.

All of the pre-school’s five staff will be leaving their jobs.

Mrs Liddon-Horncastle, who has worked there for 16 years, said: “It’s really sad, not just for me but for the whole village.

“Times have changed and people need more than just a village pre-school. Most parents are working and need full day care. The parish room is not able to provide it because it’s not a suitable facility for day care.

“I’ve got many happy memories of the pre-school and working with the children and families.

“Our main role is to be the first step for the child’s education. We are the first place they go away from home.

“It’s not just reading and writing but other things like teaching them to get themselves changed for PE.”

She added: “They come as shy children aged two-and-a-half and when they leave they are ready for primary school.”

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