A village preschool facing closure has gone from strength to strength after appealing for more children to join and has now extended its opening times.
Earlier this year the team running Ladybirds PreSchool, in Walpole Cross Keys, feared it would have to close as there just weren’t enough youngsters enrolled to make it financially viable.
However, after an appeal in the Lynn News for more support the committee is thrilled its numbers have swelled and it can now remain open.
In addition, the school which was previously open Monday to Thursday mornings, has been able to extend its hours to provide additional sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons from 11.45am to 2.45pm.
“Since we spoke about the problems we have had more interest from families and have new children starting in September from both Norfolk and Lincolnshire,” said committee chairman Jane Wilkinson.
“We have been fundraising and have been given a substantial grant from Sutton Bridge Power Station fund to update the children’s IT equipment, such as buying tablets for them to use.
“Our preschool manager Nicki Courtman has also gained her degree in early years and we have a new part-time member of staff.
“If we continue to get interest from new families we will also look into extending our hours on Mondays and Thursdays too,” she added.
At one stage it looked like just four children were signed up to start the preschool in September, which has been running for around 20 years.
Ladybirds is Walpole Cross Key’s only such facility and just one of a small number offering funded places to two year olds as well as 15 hours’ a week for those aged three and over.
It is also a charitable organisation, relying on income from the children’s fees and committee’s fundraising – it has three members of staff plus parent helpers who give up their time voluntarily.
n Ladybirds is open Monday to Thursdays, from 9.15am until 1pm and Tuesday and Wednesday from 11.45am to 2.45pm.
For more information visit www.crosskeysprimary.org or call 01553 828680.