Up to 24 extra childcare spaces will be available in Wellington from September thanks to a County Council-funded nursery expansion.
The Bouncy Bears Nursery, which currently has spaces for 32 children and is rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted, is to be extended to meet the needs of local parents thanks to a £165,000 project funded from the Council’s Early Years Capital Investment programme – money allocated to help ensure there are enough nursery and pre-school places in the county.
Work is due to start early next month, so that it can take place over the school holidays with the new spaces available for September. The nursery will continue to operate throughout the summer and building works have been timed to keep any disruption to a minimum.
Bouncy Bears owners, Paul and Samantha Caddick, said: “We are really pleased that Children Centre services will remain in Wellington which is a huge benefit for local families.
“We are also really excited going forward that we will be to offer more activities, educational courses and groups for families, building on from the work we have already been doing with our Wellington Holiday Club, Baby Stay and Play sessions and Wellington Family Activities.
“This will also mean the nursery will grow in size offering more spaces for children especially for those wishing to access the 30 Hour Funded places.”
The nursery is in the Wellington Children’s Centre, one of 16 being de-designated following a decision by Cabinet in February, but continuing to offer early childhood support – in this case much needed nursery places. Cabinet also agreed that further work would be done to make sure Wellington families continue to be supported in Wellington and that work is continuing.
The two family support groups currently being held at the centre are moving to new venues in the town centre, with no interruption. The weekly Busy Bees toddler group will be held in the Quaker Meeting House and the monthly Childminder drop-in group in the nearby Baptist Church. Other support groups already meet in other venues around Wellington.
Council officers will continue work to establish the local need for family support services in the community. These would be delivered as part of the Family Support Service which is bringing together the Council’s getset service and the support offered by Health Visitors and School Nurses.
Councillor Frances Nicholson, Cabinet member for Children and Families, said: “There is a real need for pre-school places in the area and as this nursery will be able to cater for babies I’m sure it will be well received.
“The new integrated Family Support Service is all about making it easier for people to get the support they need. Existing groups and support will carry on in community venues and we are looking at what other support is needed in Wellington and where it can best be provided, at the same time as making sure there are enough nursery to meet the need for childcare.”
Mr and Mrs Caddick added: “We want our services to reflect the needs of the local community and welcome your ideas. We will be holding an open day later this year so please like our Wellington Family Activities Facebook Page for more updates nearer the time www.facebook.com/WellingtonFamilyActivities”