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Isle preschool saved from closure after appointment of new chairman

Suzanna Burgin new Chair at Epworth Thurlow Preschool
Suzanna Burgin new Chair at Epworth Thurlow Preschool

Staff and parents are celebrating after an Isle preschool was saved from closure after a new chair was found just weeks before the deadline.

Suzanna Burgin stepped in to save the day at Epworth Thurlow Preschool after reading about the childcare facility’s plight in the Bells.

If a new chairman had not been found in time dozens of parents would have been left without childcare as the preschool would have been forced to close.

But thanks to the appointment of Suzanna Burgin, who has 15 years primary teaching experience, the lifeline facility will remain open.

Suzanna Burgin from Westwoodside said: “I read the story in the paper and I thought it was upsetting to hear that a preschool that has such a positive impact on the community was in danger of closing.

“I come from a teaching background and when my daughter was born I set up a private childminding business and had links with the preschool as I used to send them resources like arts and crafts items and costumes.

”It is an amazing place for children to develop and grow and provides so many opportunities for children that’s why I felt so passionately about helping them out.”

The future of the preschool was plunged into uncertainty after the former chair stepped down in January.

Ofsted gave the preschool a window of time to find a new one before it would have been forced to close.

It is not the first obstacle the preschool has had to overcome in recent years, last year the facility was forced to close temporarily fallowing an arson attack.

The community rallied round and raised around £20,000 for a complete refurbishment, along with donating new toys and play equipment.

Despite all these challenges Epworth Thurlow Preschool has maintained a ‘good’ rating across the board from Ofsted following the latest inspection in March.

Suzanna said: “The preschool has had a few knock backs over the years and a string of bad luck so to maintain a good Ofsted rating after losing everything to smoke damage just shows what a dedicated team they are and why I wanted to be part of it.

“Everyone has been so welcoming and relieved and appreciative that the preschool can stay open so now I am keen to help them continue to move forward in a positive way.”

One of the new changes to be implemented since Suzanna’s appointment is the decision to open on a Thursday so they can offer 30 hours childcare a week. The baby and toddler group ‘Finding A Voice’ will continue to run on a Thursday, 9.15am - 10.30am, in Epworth Thurlow Hall.