RESIDENTS, children, staff and governors have been celebrating the rebirth of a village nursery.
After Thurrock Council upped the cost of its lease and the previous owners decided to retire, the future looked bleak for Horndon on the Hill nursery but the village’s Primary School has stepped in and on Tuesday the new school reopened in refurbished premises.
Head at Horndon CoE Primary School Mr. Travis Martinson explained that he was very proud to have retained the staff from the previous provision and that staff had worked long hours to get it up and running. The school now planned to extend the hours at the nursery and also offer ‘wrap round’ care giving village children continuity of care and education in the village.
And chair of Governors Helen Gentry said that while the process of taking over the playschool, based in the historic former Victorian school premises, had been fraught with difficulties she and fellow governors were delighted to have saved the day and everyone was looking forward to working with parents and children to ensure the venture was a big success.
Mrs Gentry said: “In the middle of last year we were made aware that the playschool at The Old School on Vincent Avenue was in some jeopardy as the previous owners were planning to move on. We offered to step in and appeared to have reached agreement with Thurrock Council, who then moved the goalposts and opened up a complex tendering process which eventually meant there had to be a period when the playschool close, which it did at Christmas.
“Eventually, and after lengthy negotiations and discussions that at times were fraught – and with the support of parents and villagers – we eventually reached agreement with the Council and now we are really pleased to be looking forward to a great future for education and care for young children in the village.”
Mr Martinson added: “I would like to thank my staff and governors who have worked extremely hard to pull of the deal to save the playschool and I am confident that its integration with Horndon CoE will prove popular and successful.”