Pre-school at heart of Brackley marks 50th

A pre-school which has spent the past 50 years looking after the children of Brackley has been celebrating its milestone.

Monday, 7th May 2018, 10:00 am
Little Oaks Pre-school 50th anniversary. Setting Manager, Nikki Lloyd, left and Pre-school Practitioner, Sue Corns, with some old press cuttings. NNL-180105-142310009

Little Oaks Pre-school, on Manor Road, opened its doors for the 1967/68 school year as Brackley Playgroup, and was based across two venues, the church hall on Banbury Road and the Church of England Youth Hall.

The pre-school, which is run by a volunteer management committee, later moved to new premises in Bracken Leas Primary School before splitting into two separate pre-schools, Little Oaks and Stepping Stones.

In 1998, Little Oaks moved to Brackley Junior School and took over its current home in The Bungalow, in Manor Road. They built an extension which was made possible through lottery funding.

Little Oaks Pre-school, Brackley, 50th anniversary. Children a d staff with Setting Manager, Nikki Lloyd in the centre at the back. NNL-180105-142247009

Office administrator Hannah Freeman, said: “We are a charity run pre-school in the heart of Brackley and we are managed by a really dedicated and thriving volunteer management committee.

“We also have a fantastic fundraising team who organise events to raise money to ensure we can purchase new resources for the children. We have 20 members of staff – we are a large pre-school – and we have just under 100 children that attend.”

Each year the fundraising team raises £6,000.

She added staff members included setting manager Nikki Lloyd, who has been with the pre-school for 13 years and Sue Corns, who has been with the school since it moved to The Bungalow.

Staff at the school have also seen generations come through with former pupils sending their own children to Little Oaks.

Anniversary celebrations have already taken place with a 60s disco at Brackley Town Football Club last Friday.

Past and present staff attended the disco including Hilary Carpenter, who was at the pre-school during the split and Lyn Daniels. The event was sponsored by local businesses KT’s Photography and Knights Languages.

In the coming weeks, children at the pre-school will be having a celebration of their own with a tea party.

Hannah said: “Childcare is at a premium. Everyone needs it and we are trying to provide the best care for the children in the community. A new estate has been built in Brackley so there are a lot of new people coming in. The pre-school has a kind of holistic approach. It is not just about the children, you are supporting the families too.”

The pre-school, which runs during term-time is now accepting registrations for children born on or after September 1, 2015. Call 01280 840201 or email [email protected]