Why did you decide to close your nursery after 22 years?
Due to a change in my personal circumstances it seemed like the best call for all of us. I am not retiring but the nursery has been successful, so it is no major drama. I didn’t want to go out on a low. I’ve absolutely loved it but it’s a big responsibility. Of course there are lots of big chains out there doing a great job, but I’ve had to grow this from the very beginning to the end. I just felt it was time.
Why did you choose to close at the start of a new academic year?
We had to consider where parents would go to find new places. It’s difficult because there are only so many nurseries around, so I decided the best time would be at the beginning of the autumn term when some children are off to school. Everyone with an immediate need is now accommodated and some of my staff members are too, while some are going off to do different things. This is a very close-knit community and everyone has been very supportive.
Are you leaving the sector entirely?
I would never think of selling on something I had built. The nursery is on the ground floor of my family home and we will continue to use the space for a new holiday club to start this October half-term. I’ve always had great rapport with children and it will be nice to see some of their little faces again. I don’t want to get away from working with them.
Do you have any favourite memories of the nursery?
Everything! Moments like being part of the annual local carnival have been very special. I have had wonderful staff, including one person for 16 years. The nursery means a lot to me and what we have achieved is something I’m very protective and proud of. The fact that we will continue on in a small way in the future is very nice.