New funds for top pre-school

NewArk playground staff Lisa Paterson and Kirsty Dickinson with children from their playgroup EMN-150709-185404009

NewArk playground staff Lisa Paterson and Kirsty Dickinson with children from their playgroup EMN-150709-185404009

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A top pre-school can continue giving toddlers a great start to their education thanks to a funding boost from Peterborough City Council.

New Ark Adventure Playground and City Farm in Reeves Way, Eastfield, will receive £33,000 from the council for each of the next three years.

The money is welcome news to the playgroup which has a footfall of over 30,000 adults and young people from the community over the year.

David Musson, operations at New Ark, said: “We rely on government funding, parent subscriptions, our own fundraising, new projects and by donations.

“This award is essential and will be used to support the work we do with all children, some of whom have special educational and emotional needs and their families.

“We are really grateful to Peterborough City Council for this award and we regard it as the council’s acknowledgement of the unique work we do within the community, as one of our prime objectives is to ensure that children have the opportunity to grow and flourish and take their place in society.”

The pre-school is currently rated as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

In their 2013 report, Ofsted inspectors said “children make excellent progress in their learning and development” while “the adventure playground is a rich learning environment for children.”

The playgroup offers a number of different services such as after-school and holiday play sessions, additional childcare and a parent and toddler group.

The centre aims to ensure that children grow and flourish through a variety of projects and activities and also increase their self-confidence.

Council leader Cllr John Holdich, who is also cabinet member for education, said: “This grant is for young children who need education outside the education system.

“I visited New Ark about six weeks ago to see for myself the fantastic work they do their with young people.

“If people have some time and have a visit they could do with your cash as well.”