Parents club together to reopen a preschool

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 June 2011

(click on image for larger view) THESE youngsters from East Huntspill are currently enjoying a twice-weekly dose of fun after the village preschool closed in May.

(click on image for larger view) THESE youngsters from East Huntspill are currently enjoying a twice-weekly dose of fun after the village preschool closed in May.

Archant

A PRESCHOOL in Sedgemoor which was closed down less than a month ago has been resurrected.

The Mercury reported in April that East Huntspill Preschool would have to shut its doors after pupil numbers dwindled and the cost of retaing the required staff members became too much to bear.

But parents of children who attended the preschool before its closure on May 22 have clubbed together to reopen it from September onwards.

The decision came after an extraordinary meeting of the school committee, where parents and other members of the community decided that enough funding could be secured to resurrect it for the next school year.

Amy Griffin, a fundraiser for the school, said: “At the meeting people from all parts of the community got together and everyone said that they really didn’t want it to close.

“It was then decided, after we worked out that we would have enough money to run it, that we would reopen it again in September.”

Mrs Griffin added that with the current members of staff accepting redundancy packages, the school would soon be advertising for new workers to fill their positions.

She continued: “There were a lot of families with children who wanted to go, and who obviously didn’t know about it before as there weren’t enough children going before.

“At the moment we’re not sure if we would run the same hours, or possibly change them to do two or three fuller days in the week.

“We think we will be fine for funding over the coming year, but we’re going to be doing lots of different fundraising for it – we’ll have a stall at the June fair in the village on Saturday, and we’re also organising an auction for September.”

The preschool opened in 1969, but with attendance numbers falling in recent years and it running at a loss for several years, grant money was key to keeping the facility open.

But school administrators were unable to secure grant funding, with the money saved by not being open for the remaining half-term going towards staff members as part of a redundancy package.

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