Portsmouth nursery celebrates 20 years of looking after children
PARADE Community Pre-school has been celebrating 20 years of caring for children in Hilsea.
Manager, Cathy Robinson, first opened the nursery’s doors to children on September 25, 2000.
She said: ‘I can’t believe it has been 20 years – it has gone in the blink of an eye. Over the years we have cared for the fourth and fifth siblings of some families and some of these children have returned to do work experience placements, one of whom has since gone on to set up her own nursery.’
Being located on the same site as Northern Parade Infant and Junior schools has allowed staff at the pre-school to stay in touch with families and see the children develop.
‘We are very lucky being on the school grounds to be able to follow the progress of our past pre-school children and I continue to feel pride in their behaviour and achievements as we watch them grow,’ said Cathy.
While the key focus of the nursery is caring for the children and preparing them for primary school, Cathy believes support for the whole family is at the heart of the nursery’s success. It’s this fundamental principle which made Cathy determined to remain open throughout the pandemic lockdown.
‘Being there for our families was essential in allowing our parents – many of whom are key workers - to be able to continue with their vital roles,’ said Cathy.
It’s an ethos appreciated by families.
Parent, Stacie Rees, said: ‘Parade are like a little family. All three of my boys attended and they helped me with everything from separation anxiety, toilet training to helping my older two children become big brothers. They are a wonderful group of people and have given my children the best start in their school life.’
Fellow parent, Sami Chivers, added: ‘Both my children went to Parade and I’ve never known a place like it. The staff have gone above and beyond to help me and my sons as they both have learning difficulties and need additional help. I couldn’t ask for more as a parent.’
Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions the nursery was unable to host a birthday party.
Cathy added: ‘Hopefully once all this is over we will be able to celebrate this landmark with the whole community.’