Church steps in to help pre-school

LITTLE Stars came out to mark the official opening of their new playground facilities recently.

They were celebrating an improvement which they didn’t think they would see when they fell victim to government spending cuts last year and faced being homeless.

Little Stars was originally awarded a capital grant from the government to relocate the pre-school and nursery from its premises at St Luke’s Church in Cell Barnes Lane, St Albans.

After a lot of searching they found a suitable site at nearby Windermere primary school, obtained planning permission and had builders on standby to start work. But no sooner had they given notice at St Luke’s Church in Cell Barnes Lane, St Albans, than the funding was withdrawn.

The church stepped into the breach with both accommodation and financial assistance and with another pot of money that Little Stars was awarded, work began to knock down an old hut and replace it with a new cabin containing storage, toilets and hand-washing facilities.

The pre-school is back based in the upper hall of the church but the new facilities mean that children no longer have to be taken upstairs every time they need the toilet.

Little Stars owner Caroline George said the pre-school had received a huge amount of help from the Rev Mark Slater, Vicar of St Luke’s, and project manager Peter Kaiser. She added: “We now have a huge play area, downstairs toilets, hand washing facilities and it’s secured with lockable gates. This has enhanced our provision and given the children who attend Little Stars many more opportunities.”