A new children’s nursery has been officially opened in Middleham.
The ribbon was cut to open the Kidz Day Nursery at Middleham Primary School by Richmond MP Rishi Sunak.
The nursery was created to address concerns that there was no childcare facilities in the racing town following the closure of the Grove Nursery.
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The nursery has been opened in a former classroom at the school, with the early years and key stage one children moving to another part of the school.
£60,000 in funding was provided by the Department of Education, while a further £20,000 came from Racing Welfare, which has a base in Middleham and works with the racing community, to pay for the adaptation of the new classroom and the arrival of the nursery.
A further £5,000 came from the Johnson & Mukherjee Brothers Charitable Trust to pay for improvements to the school library, which was also opened yesterday by the MP.
The contract to run the nursery was won by Kidz Day Nursery, which already runs a nursery in Ingleton.
The company is run by husband and wife team Bill and Julie Whitbread.
Julie said they were delighted to be working in partnership with the school to operate the nursery.
She said: “The head is one of the best we’ve come across for partnership working and we are really pleased to be up and running in Middleham.
“The nursery is within the racing community and parents were having to move away because there were no childcare facilities to fit around their work.
“The nursery is available from 7am in the morning until 6pm in the evening, 51 weeks a year, and the facility will also open on Saturday morning if required to ensure there is not suitable childcare.”
The nursery can take children from three months to 11 years, and can provide transport to and from Spennithorne and Harmby Primary School.
Julie said the nursery was currently operated by staff from their Ingleton nursery but local staff would be hired.
Executive head Lindsay Evans said the nursery was a great asset for the school.
“A lot of racing industry staff who had children were unable to stay in the community because there were no childcare facilities.
“The nursery is part of our plan to improve our facilities for the local community and hopefully increase number of pupils.”
Gail Burton-Pye, from Racing Welfare, said the charity had carried out a survey which identified the lack of childcare as a problem.
She added: “We approached the school and North Yorkshire children services to see if it was possible to get something up and running.
“We wanted to support the school and the local community.”