Simplex-Turbulo is now sponsoring a local pre-school amid fears that new government legislation could place a strain on its staff and facilities.
The costs of teaching staff, training, and equipment, mount up for pre-schools like Chilbolton pre-school in Wherwell, Hampshire. Unfortunately, the funding that UK pre-schools receive from the government for is less than the expenses of the child by almost a third. As a result, many pre-schools are having to carry out fundraising in order to keep offering the services that parents expect.
Many members of staff at Simplex have children that either currently attend Chilbolton pre-school, or have done so in the past, and as such the company feels a special affinity with the school. A lovely presentation took place at the school in February, where a few Simplex staff brought with them a large, engineering themed present for the children – a box of colourful construction bricks – to mark the beginning of the partnership.
After a presentation by MD Justin Brooking, during which he showed the children a working model of a diesel engine (see photo), the children eagerly unwrapped and began playing with their new toys. Simplex staff took the opportunity to speak to some of the parents and the staff at the school about why now is an important time for pre-schools to be receiving support from their local communities:
“Pre-schools are an integral part of their communities” said Archie Curtis, parent of two current attendees at Chilbolton pre-school. “The children are most often from local families and if local community members did not get involved, pre-schools would not be able to operate at the level expected by parents. This could mean losing staff or opportunities, such as forest schools. It could mean the closure of the pre-school altogether, causing parents to either need to put their children into more expensive child care, or give up work, which would be detrimental to the local businesses that they work for. On the positive side, being involved with something at the heart of a community (as children generally are) brings a community together.”
Clare Gibson, a senior teacher at Chilbolton, had the following to say about the importance of a local pre-school for the children:
“We feel that it’s all about developing confidence. Pre-school is a place where we can gradually introduce children to the kinds of things they will be doing at primary school, so that it isn’t a shock when that time comes.”
The picturesque pre-school features its own ‘forest school’ in the Wherwell countryside – an outdoor learning facility nestled in woodland that enables children to appreciate and interact with nature. Both Simplex and Chilbolton pre-school value their precious countryside settings, which was another reason that the company felt inclined to lend their support. According to ‘The Week’ magazine, one in nine English children hasn’t visited a park, forest or any other natural space in the past year.
Now, hopefully, the Chilbolton pre-school will be able to flourish as a key part of the local community for many years to come. Monthly payments from Simplex will help to fund the upkeep of the grounds, facilities, and the payment of staff.