Bright Sparks nursery expansion vital
AN Ipswich nursery has been forced to expand to avoid closure now that more Government money is being ploughed into school attached nurseries.Chairman of the Bright Sparks nursery, Betty Robertson said they are operating on a shoe string in a bid to keep the service open to members of the community who may not be able to afford the charges of other nurseries.
By Jessica Nicholls
THIS Ipswich nursery has been forced to expand to avoid closure now that more Government money is being ploughed into school attached nurseries.
Chairman of the Bright Sparks nursery, Betty Robertson said they are operating on a shoe string in a bid to keep the service open to members of the community who may not be able to afford the charges of other nurseries.
Bright Sparks and the mother and toddler group, Smarties is a charity and is supported by St Peter's Church in Stoke Park.
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At one time they only offered morning sessions but now are starting afternoon sessions so more children can be taken on.
When they first took over in April last year, the nursery was just running two morning sessions and had 14 children on their books.
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Now they have 40 children on the books, run five morning sessions and are now operating afternoon sessions.
Staff are hard to come by and paying them is also a difficulty but Mrs Robertson is determined that the nursery will be there for those who need it.
Mrs Robertson said: "Nurseries like ours are so important because they are reaching out to people who can't afford to send their children to private nurseries.
"We have a very vital role to play and I would not want us to close down simply because we were no longer a viable option or a going concern."
Mrs Robertson said that some government funding was given for children who were entitled to it but that money does not cover all the expenses that they have, such as paying staff.
Currently they are hoping to be awarded a grant so that they can add another string to their bow – parenting classes.
They have applied for a money from Ipswich Lion's Club.
Mrs Robertson said: "The children can play in the nursery and the parents can in once a week for an eight week course where we can exchange expertise.
"We want to get funding to help support parents who don't have families that they can rely on to get support."
But to run one eight week parenting course costs around £1,500.