Preschool forced to close

PUBLISHED: 15:01 28 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:38 25 May 2010

A VILLAGE preschool highly praised by education inspectors has had to close due to a lack of children.

A VILLAGE preschool highly praised by education inspectors has had to close due to a lack of children.

Kewstoke Preschool was disbanded last month by bosses after attracting just five children.

It comes just a year after the once-popular facility was employing five members of staff to look after 28 children.

The school, based at the village hall since 1991, was also acclaimed by Ofsted inspectors who marked the provision of nursery education as 'outstanding'.

Managing partner Jo Moon called the preschool's demise 'bizarre and upsetting'.

She said: "We just don't get it - every year we were full and didn't even have to think about advertising places.

"But then last year numbers started to dry and we got to the point in December where we only had a handful of children and four members of staff.

"Financially it stopped working and we had to make the hard decision."

Mrs Moon said she believed the recession may have had a hand to play in the dwindling numbers.

She added: "I know before we had children come from Weston, but now perhaps the parents are less reluctant to travel here.

"There could also be the factor of less people being in jobs so term time care is no longer needed."

It is also feared the preschool's closure could have an effect on the village hall, which depends on regular users to stay open.

The Kewstoke Village Hall and Playing Field Trust is now looking to raise rents to fill the income loss.

Mrs Moon added: "I am worried our closure will not only put families in the village at a loss but also users of the hall."

The preschool is holding a clear out sale of toys, equipment, tables and chairs at the village hall from 10am-2pm on February 6.

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