Walpole Cross Keys’s spring fair a birthday success

Fun Day and Car boot to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ladybirds Pre-school at Walpole Cross Keys School
Nikki Courtman (manager) with some of the youngsters on the cake stall ANL-160425-072400009
Fun Day and Car boot to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ladybirds Pre-school at Walpole Cross Keys School Nikki Courtman (manager) with some of the youngsters on the cake stall ANL-160425-072400009

A thriving pre-school which was on the verge of closure two years ago celebrated its 20th anniversary by hosting a Spring fair.

The Ladybirds pre-school, based in the village primary school in Sutton Road, has gone from strength-to-strength since being rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in February last year.

Fun Day and Car boot to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ladybirds Pre-school at Walpole Cross Keys School
Marcus Gibbs (3) with some of the cuddly toys on sale ANL-160425-072349009

Fun Day and Car boot to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ladybirds Pre-school at Walpole Cross Keys School Marcus Gibbs (3) with some of the cuddly toys on sale ANL-160425-072349009

But just a few months before that, dwindling numbers had left the pre-school on the verge of shutting down.

The glowing report has worked wonders, with manager Nikki Courtman saying: “A few months before our outstanding Ofsted, we only had six children registered.

“It picked up very slowly, but now we’ve got 24 children on the register and we are full for the next year-and-a-half.

“We’ve got four staff working here so that gives us job security and we continue to provide a valuable service to Walpole Cross Keys and the surrounding villages.

“We can take a maximum of 18 children per day and we take children from two-years-old.”

Originally set up as a mother and toddler group by Sue Mead back in 1993, it changed its name to Ladybirds pre-school three years later.

“Sue has provided us with some great support throughout the years,” said Mrs Courtman, who has now worked at Ladybirds for 16 years.

A real community effort at the Spring fair, which was organised by committee members and parents, saw a total of £450 raised on the day.

The money will be used to purchase new resources for the children.