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Closure of local Preschool after 40 years in Andover

Sad news for a local preschool that has been running in Andover for 40 years was official announced on the Harrow way Preschool Facebook page on the 26 Feb 2019.

The Committee, staff and members of Harrow Way Pre-school are deeply saddened to announce the closure of our Ofsted ‘Outstanding’, well established and popular Early Years setting at the end of July 2019.

Unfortunately, due to Harrow Way Community Schools increased intake of pupils and expected curriculum delivery, more space is needed to teach.

Hampshire County Council declined to provide funding for the Community School’s proposed and much needed modular classrooms and instead made the decision to end the Pre-schools tenancy agreement. As a result, the Pre-school were given notice to vacate their playroom by the end of this current academic year.

In conjunction with the Early Years department, Hampshire County Council proposed to lease a portion of the playing field for interested parties to erect modular buildings.

The Early Years departments vision was to provide 30 hours Nursery/Early Years funding entitlement.

The successful applicants would also be judged on their ability to provide a suitable ‘wrap around’ childcare premises for 0-11 year olds, on a ‘flexible’ basis for 51 weeks of the year.

The cost of providing this provision was expected to be above £350K.

As a voluntary, charity run, sessional pre-school, we could not compete in the financial forum against ‘business/profit’ providers. However, there was a chance we could rent or add a modular building to their premises. Despite initial interest in developing the site, by December 2018 no actual bids were forthcoming.

Hampshire County Council are planning to re-release the next bidding process, with altered specifications in March 2019. Proposed future developments of the site will come far too late to be of benefit to our Pre-school.

Despite our intensive researching and with consideration to every option on offer, no suitable, alternative premises is available to us. Therefore, the members attending our General Meeting on the 25th February, were left with no choice but to vote for the dissolution of our charity status and the closure of our Pre-school.

After over 40 years of serving our local families and their children, this heart wrenching decision was not taken lightly. We, like you, are all totally devastated at the loss of this much loved and successful provision.

Last, but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our past and present families for your trust and support.

The Pre-school will continue to operate as normal for the current academic year.

Any further questions, please contact Carol, the Supervisor on 01264 723662 or email Laura, the Chair of the Management Committee.