FOR nearly two decades, children at a city nursery were schooled in a temporary cabin but that has all changed after their new £1m home was finally unveiled.
The Parade Community Pre-school in Kipling Road, Hilsea, finally revealed its new, purpose-built home during an open day on Thursday.
Complete with seven development zones, a sensory garden, kitchen, children’s and disabled toilets in addition to a hearing loop, the building was packed to the brim with parents as children tried out the new facilities for the first time.
Manager of the pre-school Cathy Carley has been there for 17 years.
She said: ‘It’s been such a long wait but we are very pleased to finally have it open and ready.
‘It is a huge weight off our shoulders to know it is here.
‘It looks fantastic and you can just by the children’s faces how excited they are about it.’
The pre-school had previously been based in a cabin located in the grounds of Northern Parade Infant School but had to move to accommodate an expansion to increase school places.
Previously, the pre-school’s cabin would have accommodated 40 children but the new building allows them to take on 60.
Funding for the project came from Portsmouth City Council – which will own and lease the building to the pre-school – and the Department for Education.
Frank Jonas, ward councillor for Hilsea said: ‘It is amazing here as it is so well equipped and provides a great deal of tools for the children to learn with.
‘I would say it has been worth the wait and after seeing what the pre-school had before to what they’ve got now, it really shows that the money spent was worthwhile.’
Councillor Donna Jones, council leader and fellow ward member added: ‘Education and early years education has been the number one priority for the council over the last three years. This is a great example of the council’s desire to improve education.’