Preschool to close after 40 years due to funding shortfall

PUBLISHED: 07:40 20 October 2018

Little World Preschool sponsored pedal race.

Little World Preschool sponsored pedal race.

Archant

A preschool will shut in Yatton at the end of the month as a lack of funding means it can no longer afford to go on.

Little World Preschool opened more than 40 years ago but its committee says it cannot keep it running any longer.

Shelagh Williams, who has been a head of the management committee for about 18 years, said parents’ lives have changed since it opened as a play school.

She said: “In 1972, mothers were more at home so it was a social time for the children and them.

“But now mothers often work and so they often need full-time childcare.”

She said the Government’s funding of up to 30 hours free childcare a week has impacted on preschools’ popularity.

Shelagh added: “We have been hanging on and hanging on (financially).

“The children’s places are funded but in the past 10 years I think we have only had one increase in funding during that time.”

And yet at the same time salaries for staff have continued to rise and preschools cannot charge parents extra money for services, putting the squeeze on its resources.

Little World Preschool was granted a rent reduction by the Methodist church, but sadly it was not enough to secure its future.

The decision to close was made in July, with parents and staff informed in August that the centre would shut for good in late-October.

The children have all found new preschool places but five employees will be made redundant once it officially shuts on October 26.

Shelagh said it was ‘sad’ to have to close, but an inevitable move because of cost pressures.

She said: “It’s very sad. People have been very loyal over the years to the preschool.

“Parents bring their children in having come themselves as a child.

“Unfortunately life moves on.”

A sale of its items will take place on October 26-27 to raise funds for the church from 10am to noon.

Pre-sale enquiries can be made by emailing littleworldatyatton@gmail.com

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