Titchfield's only pre-school closes despite community's fundraising attempts

A VILLAGE's only nursery has closed its doors for the last time.

Friday, 31st March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:19 pm
Pupils, staff, parents and former parents campaigned to save Bright Sparks Pre-School from closure

Bright Sparks Pre-School of Titchfield Community Centre shut yesterday after a community campaign to raise funds fell short of the £7,000 target.

The cash would have kept the pre-school running until July but despite campaigners’ best efforts, only £497 was raised.

Its closure means many of the children at the pre-school have been forced to move to another one for the summer term before starting primary in the autumn.

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Bright Sparks manager Sally Eland said: ‘It’s such a shame that we are closing down.

‘I’ve been at the pre-school for nearly 17 years so I am really sad to see it go.’

The pre-school put on a party for its 16 pupils and four members of full-time staff to celebrate its 16-year history.

It provided only 20 hours of care each week and a drop in pupil numbers and funds left it struggling to compete with other services offering longer hours with the centre also ineligible for the government’s free 30 hours of childcare from September.

Ms Eland added: ‘We know that others in the nearby area have had to close down as well so sadly it seems many are being affected.

‘I will take so many happy memories from this place and wish all the children the best for the future.’

Kirsty Williams, whose two-year-old daughter Millie McGuire, attended the pre-school said: ‘It really is a shame as the pre-school has been fantastic for Millie and the other kids.

‘They have built such fantastic relationships with the kids over the years and it’s so sad that the community loses its only pre-school.’