New day care centre could be open by spring

Claire Baxter (company secretary), Susan Hodgson (Nursery Manager), Steve Tulley (Director South Elmsall Community Facilities),
Claire Baxter (company secretary), Susan Hodgson (Nursery Manager), Steve Tulley (Director South Elmsall Community Facilities),
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A new day care centre could open in the South East, just months after the closure of First Steps nursery at the end of last year.

ue Hodgson, manager of the old nursery, which was based at Hemsworth Academy, is planning to establish a new facility at the Westfield Centre in South Elmsall in Spring.

The 59-year-old, who has been working on the venture with South Elmsall Community Facilities Ltd, said: “Although it was a sad ending to 2016 with, I feel like this is a much more positive start to 2017.

“It has been a bit of a whirlwind but this is an exciting venture and will benefit families in the local community. I hope it will also create jobs in the area.”

Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT), the academy chain which owned First Steps, has donated some of the former nursery’s furniture, toys and resources to help Mrs Hodgson get the new centre running.

It has also donated to the Hemsworth-based Laila Milly Foundation.

A WCAT spokesman said: “The Trust is pleased to support the new nursery with furniture and other resources. We wish everybody behind the venture all the best for the future.”

Clare Baxter, company secretary at South Elmsall Community Facilities Ltd said: “The centre will provide a safe, caring environment and offer a stimulating atmosphere for children.

“We are very fortunate to be working with Sue who will work hard to provide outstanding services for our local children. We are also incredibly grateful to WCAT for what they have provided.”

WCAT went ahead with the closure of First Steps on December 31, despite a backlash from parents. The trust said the nursery, which had 38 children and 13 staff, was losing money and had a £68,000 deficit in 2015/2016.