Nursery to create new jobs and support childcare training

Westfield centre childrens day care official opening.
Robert Hayhurst, Bryan Capstick, Debbie Welford-Slater, Sue Hodgson, Jon Tirckett, Beth Caton, Laura Hughes, Vic France, Clare Baxter, Dave Sharpe
Westfield centre childrens day care official opening. Robert Hayhurst, Bryan Capstick, Debbie Welford-Slater, Sue Hodgson, Jon Tirckett, Beth Caton, Laura Hughes, Vic France, Clare Baxter, Dave Sharpe

A new nursery will create jobs and support people training for careers in childcare and early years education.

The Westfield Centre Children’s Day Care, in South Elmsall, will open for children aged up to five-years-old later this month.

Westfield centre childrens day care official opening.
Lucas Hall

Westfield centre childrens day care official opening. Lucas Hall

It held an open day on Friday for interested families.

Clare Baxter, company secretary of South Elmsall Community Facilities Ltd, a partner in the new venture, said: “There was a shortage of childcare places in this area and we will now be able to offer a safe, caring and quality environment for children, meaning parents can work or complete education or training knowing their youngsters are in safe hands.

“There will be new positions created as soon as the nursery officially opens later this month. And we also plan to take placements, helping to train people in that area of work.”

The partnership approached 59-year-old nursery manager Sue Hodgson about launching the venture in January.

Westfield centre childrens day care official opening.

Westfield centre childrens day care official opening.

Mrs Hodgson was manager of the former First Steps nursery, based at Hemsworth Academy, which closed its doors on December 31 last year.

Its owner Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) said the nursery, which had 38 children and 13 staff, was losing money and had a £68,000 deficit in 2015/2016.

The Trust donated much of its furniture, toys and resources to help South Elmsall’s new day care centre get up and running.

Mrs Baxter said: “We had discussions with former First Steps staff members about how they would feel about opening a new day centre in the town.

Westfield centre childrens day care official opening.

Westfield centre childrens day care official opening.

“WCAT very kindly gifted us furniture and equipment, which has enabled us to get things ready quickly.”

A WCAT spokesman added: “Wakefield City Academies Trust was pleased to support the new nursery with furniture and other resources. The trust wishes everybody behind the venture all the best for the future.”