Company chosen to take over council-run nurseries

THE new private provider taking over two West Sussex County Council run nurseries in Shoreham and Lancing has been announced.

Jellyfish Nursery, at the Kingston Buci Children and Family Centre in Middle Road, Shoreham, and Lancing Nursery, at the Lancing Children and Family Centre in North Road, Lancing, will transfer to A Step Ahead from September 1.

The company already runs four other nurseries in West Sussex, which are all rated by Ofsted as good or outstanding.

Parents are being reassured there will be continuity for their children, as staff will transfer to the new provider.

Managing director Antonia Ogden-Meade said: “It is a very exciting time and we will be inviting existing and new parents to come and meet us soon.

“We know how important open communication is during the transfer process and therefore we want to be accessible so we can answer any questions parents have.

“We don’t anticipate making many changes initially as we very much work on developing our nurseries to fit in with the local community – therefore we will be spending time getting to know more about what staff and parents need and want before we make any changes.

“We are really looking forward to working with the staff, children, parents and everyone else connected to the nurseries at Lancing and Shoreham.”

Peter Evans, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for children, said: “Over 90 per cent of nurseries are run extremely well by private and voluntary organisations in West Sussex so we are very confident that this transfer will be both smooth and successful.

“The free nursery provision championed by the Government will also ensure that the nurseries continue to deliver a high level of service to local parents and children.”

Fishersgate Nursery, in Gardner Road, Fishersgate, will continue under council ownership.