Congresbury Preschool's bid to take on new primary school site

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 October 2016

Staff and kids at Congresbury Preschool, they are hoping to run a new preschool at St Andrew's School next year.

Staff and kids at Congresbury Preschool, they are hoping to run a new preschool at St Andrew's School next year.

Archant

A village community preschool is hoping it will be able to offer places for more children if its bid to run from a new base is successful.

The Congresbury Community Preschool is currently based in a Portakabin within the grounds of St Andrew’s Primary School, off Station Road, but it operates independently from the school.

The school was recently given planning permission by North Somerset Council to transform its original school hall – which is no longer used – into a preschool facility for children aged two and three.

However, the new preschool will be operated by a separate organisation and the leaders of the community preschool, which is a registered charity, are hoping their bid will be successful.

The preschool’s chairman Richard Jones said if the organisation’s bid is successful, it will be able to offer extra places when new Government rules concerning preschools come into effect next year.

The new policy will offer eligible children 30 hours a week of childcare, rather than the current 15-hour provision, and Mr Jones said the preschool would not be able to cope with the anticipated rise in demand at its current base.

Mr Jones said taking on the new site would also mean the preschool would employ extra staff.

He told the Mercury: “We currently employ nine people.

“We would have to increase our staff probably by two or three people – we would need a room leader, which is a more senior position.

“If we did not get the tender, we would carry on as we are, but if we are to provide a 30-hour provision then it would cut our capacity.

“From the preschool’s point of view, it would certainly be a positive thing if we were able to get it.”

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