"We won't let it die!" - Upper Hopton parents take over pre-school committee

A group of determined parents have taken matters into their own hands after it was announced that their toddlers' nursery school was set to close.

Thursday, 31st May 2018, 10:10 am
Updated Thursday, 31st May 2018, 10:17 am
Some of the mothers who have taken on the responsibility. From left to right: Amanda Watson, Rachael King, Abby Watson, Lydia McGrath

Instead of searching for alternative schooling for their children, the never-say-die team have taken over the committee at the Jackroyd Lane-based school and have vowed to keep it going for the sake of the village.

Ten committed mums officially took over the pre school’s committee last week and have vowed to keep it alive.

The charge has been led in part by Lydia McGrath, who said that whilst she is under no illusion that there will be challenges ahead, she is delighted that the pre school has been saved.

Kids at the school are said to be delighted it will stay open.

She said: “It wasn’t a case of thinking whether or not to get involved, it was an obvious reaction, certainly from my point of view.

“We had to step in. Aside from the fact that it’s such a lovely place to bring your children and that the children love it, it’s been open for nearly 30 years and it would have been such a shame for the village to not have it.”

The initial decision to close the pre-school was a financial one and follows a number of similar closures in West Yorkshire in recent months.

On the new committee, Lydia has taken on the unenviable role of treasurer.

“We don’t want to run it as a business,” she said, “it’s a small, charity, family sort of feel and we want to keep that. We do appreciate that there is a lot we need to do to raise money and recruit children, but this is something that doesn’t need to make a huge profit.

“The fact is that for the last two years there hasn’t been a single parent on the committee. There are so many advantages to not being a commercial nursery. We can run it how we like and that will be about retaining everything good that we have there.

“We know there are financial obligations we need to address and we’re not pretending it won’t be challenging. The fact is that we need to find a way of attracting more children to the school.”

Upper Hopton Pre School have been involved in several community events and Lydia insists that this will continue, with a number of events planned.

Anyone interested in joining the pre-school can arrange a visit by calling 07989 212296