Four women who saved a nursery from closure a year ago are celebrating their first Ofsted report ‘good’ rating.
Bewbush Community Nursery, in the Bewbush Centre, Dorsten Square, faced possible closure when West Sussex County Council (WSCC) stopped funding from April 1 2013.
Linda Godley, Emily Worsfold, Rebecca Wright and Sarah Risby, created a ‘staff mutual’, meaning the nursery could continue as a financially independent service.
One year on and the directors, children and parents are celebrating the nursery’s first Ofsted report which rated it ‘good’.
The Ofsted report stated: “Children flourish in this welcoming and happy nursery.
“Parents feel that the staff are ‘superb’, ‘wonderful and nurturing’ and that their children are very happy at the nursery”.
Sarah Risby said the team had enjoyed the freedom and independence to follow their ideas without the restraints of checking with other parties.
She said: “It’s good that we can put our passion to it to make it into our own vision.
“We’ve been putting on different hats. Now we don’t only need to know about child care. We’ve been doing our own payroll, tax and learning about HR.”
The Ofsted report said staff knew each child well and played with the children in a way which encouraged them to build their social skills, as well as practice simple sums and learn about nature.
It stated: “In make-believe play they show them how to bake cakes and pour tea into cups. This develops friendships and creates a sense of belonging as children happily play together.”
It also noted staff encouraged a healthy life style by providing healthy lunches and snacks and encouraging lots of active play.
A nursery directors’ statement said: “We are extremely proud of our staff, children and families whose dedication to the nursery has enabled the business to flourish”.
The nursery will hold an anniversary party on April 8
Its first annual general meeting will take place on Friday (April 4) with attendees including the Mayor of Crawley and Cllr Chris Oxlade. Sarah said the directors hoped to develop the nursery’s outdoor areas with the help of council grants. Developments will include new surfacing and a large canape so children can play outside in all weathers.