Preschool closure concerns parents

Worried parents are trying to delay the closure of a pre-school group premises in a bid to keep their children in a ‘stimulating and happy’ learning environment.

Bakewell Preschool is currently using St John Hall for it’s sessions but after news that St John’s Ambulance intend to close the site on Dagnall Gardens, Bakewell, parents are now fearful that they will have to look outside of town for an alternative.

The preschool currently provides 22 places for children between the ages of two and five.

It is open five days a week during term-time and is so popular amongst parents that it has a full waiting list.

While Bakewell Preschool have investigated alternative premises in Bakewell they have not found any suitable - so the closure of the hall will result in the closure of the preschool.

Concerned parent, Jennie Godwin, said: “There is no alternative provision within Bakewell for all these children so parents will have to travel outside Bakewell to find preschool education places for these children.”

As the preschool feeds Bakewell C of E Infant School, there are further concerns that scattering the children into other local communities may result in fewer children moving on to the Infant School as they establish friends who will be attending different village schools.

Jennie said: “If St John’s Hall remains open or at least the decision to close is guaranteed to be delayed until an alternative site for the Preschool can be found, this will assure parents that their children can continue to be educated within the caring, stimulating and happy learning environment provided at Bakewell Preschool.”

While St John’s Ambulance haven’t actually confirmed whether they intend to close the hall, parents and staff alike fear the worst.

Nicky Channer, part-owner of Bakewell Preschool, said: “A meeting was held last week but no decision has been made yet.”