A new Government funded nursery for two-year-olds in Cotmanhay is the first of its kind to open in Derbyshire.
The £100,000 Cubs nursery, based at the Surestart Centre on Beauvale Drive and run by Cotmanhay Infants and Nursery School, aims to help families in the area which is one of the most deprived areas in Derbyshire.
The aim is to provide somewhere for parents to take their toddlers when they can’t afford to pay for childcare.
Derbyshire County Council has funded the nursery as part of a wider Government initiative. Work has been carried out on the building - which had been empty since the closure of a private nursery three years ago - over the past year and it now boasts an abundance of new furniture and toys for the children.
Headteacher, Katy Latchford, said: “We are delighted to announce the opening of our Cubs Nursery for two-year-olds as part of Cotmanhay Infant and Nursery School.
“This is a very exciting time for us and the community in and around Cotmanhay and we are privileged to have been given the opportunity to develop it by Derbyshire County Council. We already have a very successful Bears Nursery for three and four-year-olds and we are confident that our new Cubs Nursery will just as wonderful.”
An official opening was held on September 10. Amanda Gordon, children sufficiency officer at Derbyshire County Council, said there was a huge under supply of free nursery places in the area and across Derbyshire.
She said: “This is one of the most deprived areas in Derbyshire which is why we chose here. There was a fee based nursery here but it ended up closing because of the cost, parents couldn’t afford it. It has stood empty since then so we knew we had a huge building available that we could use.
“Cotmanhay is a prime area to work with. We did put it out to the private sector but we really wanted to work with the school and this is an expansion of the school.”
The nursery opened last week and will take 16 children in the morning and 16 in the afternoon. There is already a waiting list.
Katy said they have taken on four new staff and could potentially take on more, meaning up to 24 children could attend.
She said: “We’ll be oozing positivity about it. When the fee paying nursery closed and children came to us at three they weren’t prepared so the long-term benefits will be great.”
This will mean the children will be at the school from the age of two to 11.
Katy added: “We are excited and the parents are over the moon. They have got a real voice in the school - when this was put to them they were thrilled.
“We want to give the community something to be really proud about.
“When people talk about Cotmanhay it is often negative but we’ve got something really good to offer.”
The Cubs Nursery is based at Cotmanhay Children’s Centre and is part of school. A waiting list is open for two-year-olds eligible for a funded nursery place. Please phone the school on 0115 930 2064 for more details.
The nursery is the first of its kinds in Derbyshire but more are set to follow, with two to three set for the next phase in the county.