Pre-School History

Ecton Village Playgroup started in the Youth Club building in September 1985 with two sessions a week on Tuesday and Friday mornings.  The group’s chairwoman was Margaret Tinston.  At that time there were nine children on the roll and two playgroup leaders although the group was registered with Social Services for up to twenty-four children per session.  Fees were just eighty pence per session.

By 1989 the group was holding three sessions a week and, inevitably, the fees had increased, although they are still only £2-60 per session.  In 1995 the Pre-School Playgroup Association became the Pre-School Learning Alliance and suggested that all Playgroups should become Pre-Schools, the title which was adopted in November 1995.

Today Ecton Village Pre-School offers up to four sessions a week with up to twenty-two children per session, and there are two well qualified pre-school supervisors and one assistant.  With the coming of nursery vouchers to maintain the presence of the Pre-School in the village there will be a need to offer pre-school children of four and over five sessions a week. The Pre-School can offer places to children from the age of two years nine months and to one child aged two years six months accompanied by a carer, up to school age. There is rarely a waiting list.  Close links are enjoyed with both the Mother and Toddler Group and the School, thus enabling the children who go on to the school an early introduction by joining school events such as the Harvest Festival.

Fiona Bishop