Two childcare settings in Lincoln are to merge as part of The Old Station Nursery’s expansion plans.
Between 50 and 60 children and 16 staff from Lincoln College and Waterside will form one large nursery on Monks Road, just a stone’s throw from the current college location, in early November.
The move to the four-storey building will safeguard jobs from both nurseries after the lease at Lincoln College ended and it was decided that the Waterside setting, based at LA Fitness, would benefit from being merged with a larger nursery.
Managing Director of The Old Station Nursery Sarah Steel said the move will allow them to expand to offer childcare for up to 70 children – currently, the college can care for a maximum of 25 while the Waterside can look after 30 youngsters.
“This merger is a chance for us to continue to offer top-quality city centre childcare provided by experienced staff who have been working with children from Lincoln for many years,” said Sarah, whose nursery group also has settings at Lincoln Marina and Wragby Road in the city as well as one in Newark, four across Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire and a crèche in Buckinghamshire.
“We knew there would be lots of questions from parents and staff so we’ve made sure that they have been kept in the loop about the change, which we see as very positive for the group.
“The main concern we had from parents at the Waterside setting was about the drop-off and pick-up times at the new site as many of the parents work at Waterside South. We’ve addressed this by opening the new setting earlier and shutting later to give mums and dads more flexible access.
“The children and staff will soon have a luxurious setting to work and play in and one I’ll be very proud to have in our group.”
The building, called Elm House, was previously used by Lincoln College to teach construction and childcare studies. The Old Station Nursery will now take on the whole premises but only use the first three floors, with the top floor being rented out as completely separate office space with its own entrance.
Children aged between two and five will be cared for in the basement area which backs out onto the large garden, while the under twos will have a separate space on the ground floor, which is level with Monks Road. The garden will have a dedicated play area for younger children and be fully secure. Parents will drop off and pick up from Rosemary Lane, where there will be around eight parking spaces created.
Sarah has pledged to use local builders, landscapers and signmakers for the £50,000 refurbishment
“We pick up the keys on 12th October and then we’re going to have builders in for a few weeks to bring the facilities up to scratch,” Sarah added. “We’ll be putting in a new kitchen and toilets and completely redecorating the inside as well as landscaping the garden.
“There will be lots of space to expand and a huge garden for the children to play in, which is a great benefit as the current outside space at both nurseries is quite small. It will mean we can expand as well.”