Littleton Pre-school Closure

Statement prepared by Littleton Pre-school 27 June 2024.

Littleton Pre-school has, for almost 50 years, been at the heart of our community, residing in the Littleton Memorial Hall, at the Littleton Recreation Ground.  The Memorial Hall was sympathetically designed to accommodate the Pre-school, and we have loved the large, bright space this has provided.  We have also loved being able to use the wide expanse of the Recreation Ground for our outdoor learning, something that has formed a large part of our daily practice in recent years.

Sadly though, Littleton Pre-school has fallen victim to the challenges of the current climate and changes in family dynamics, where the need for both parents to work full-time has become more and more necessary in order to meet the financial demands of modern day living.  The impact of this is the need for full day care for their children rather than the shorter sessions offered by pre-schools.

As a community-led Pre-school we rely on voluntary support to meet the legal requirements that operating as a charity entail.  With increasing demands on families, it becomes harder each year to find volunteers who are able, or willing to give up some of their precious free time to support the Pre-school in this way.

Working in Early Years is a true vocation, and one that everyone who has worked at Pre-school in the past 50 years will tell you is both rewarding and a joy, but also comes with ever-increasing demands.  The training requirements for staff to work in Early Years is intense and on-going, with knowledge and training constantly needing updating. We have always been lucky to have such dedicated and well-qualified professionals who have loved being part of our setting.  We have always been proud of our staff consistency, and our current team are no exception.  Our Manager and Deputy Manager have been with Pre-school, both as parents and then valued members of the staff team since 2009.  The only real change in recent years has been new team members bringing their wealth of experience to us.  Unfortunately though, there comes a time when those who have given so much to a setting they love, must prioritise their own well-being, and their own families.  There is currently a real recruitment crisis in the Early Years sector, and this will not change until recognition is given to the profession, its importance, the dedication of the workforce and the requirements of the role.  This recruitment crisis, and the lack of interest for management roles had a major impact on our ability to keep Pre-school open, despite every effort to do so.

Littleton Pre-school has been loved by so many throughout its history.  It has been a huge part of the community, and so many families have watched their children, and even their children’s children flourish under the nurturing care provided.  Sadly though, small community Pre-schools such as ours are finding it more and more difficult to remain sustainable.  The closure of our Pre-school was not an easy decision, and everyone currently involved with Pre-school is devastated, especially the staff team and the families who currently attend.  We know the closure is a huge loss to the community, and felt by so many, so hope that the above explanation helps you to understand the reasons that have led to this decision.