Photo gallery: Pre-school makes a come back at Kirby Cane

A north Suffolk pre-school has come back from the brink of closure after parents rallied together to return the group back to its former status.

The Ellingham and Kirby Cane Pre-School, based on Yarmouth Road, in Kirby Cane, near Bungay, was on the verge of closure two years ago, but Karen Taylor, now an assistant at the school, teamed up with two other mothers to secure funding and create a new committee to help get it back on its feet.

Mrs Taylor, whose three children have all previously attended the pre-school, said: 'We started off with four children, now we have 18 on the books. The school has really ballooned and that is brilliant.

'It's been a lot of hard work and we did have a bit of money problems at the start, but now we've really had a lot of effort go into making the school work.'

The pre-school was awarded �5,000 from the government's Quality and Access grant and the team used the money to buy a climbing frame, a new computer, a camera, portable tables, including a snack table, and also replace broken and old toys with new ones.

Outside they invested in garden furniture and a Wendy house as well as hula hoops and outside toys, such as balls.

Mrs Taylor added: 'The school takes place in the Kirby Cane Memorial Hall, so we have to pack away our facilities at the end of the day because other groups use the building, so we needed to buy portable and easy to move items.'

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About their plans for the future, Mrs Taylor added: 'Personally I want to go bigger and better, if we can. We want to keep the numbers coming in but our dream would be to have a permanent place so we could open for longer hours. But it's hard to find the properties about.

'We wanted to keep the school going because there is such a need for it as around this area and there is quite a limited number of pre-schools. We've had the customers come in thick and fast. It was a real need.'

The pre-school also has strong links with Ellingham Primary on Church Road, in Ellingham, and Mrs Taylor explained that it was important for them to have these links as many of their students go on to the primary school.

'They have always helped us and asked us if we need anything. They have supported us quite a lot,' she said.

As well as Mrs Taylor, there is also another pre-school assistant, Marianne Scarfe, and a supervisor, Helen Munslow. The committee is made up of volunteers and they meet every term.

Early years support teacher Janey Craigs, from Norfolk County Council, also regularly visits the pre-school to offer advice and guidance.

Mrs Taylor said: 'She's been there from day one and has helped us with our energy and ideas for the place and we are aiming to get top marks with our next Ofsted report.

'We are thankful for her help and we would also like to say thank you to all the parents and the committee for all their support.'

The pre-school takes children aged two to five-years-old. For more information call 07776 321524.