Science company helps boost long-running Derbyshire pre-school where staff and children began their learning

A Derbyshire pre-school that has been giving generations of children their first taste of the classroom for more than half a century has been given a welcome boost with a brand-new kitchen.


Swanwick pre-school is one of the oldest establishments of its kind around, having been going since the 1960s.


Now staff at the long-running establishment that offers families accessible and affordable childcare so parents can work, have a brand-new kitchen thanks to support from a range of companies and organisations, including science company Lubrizol – where several employees send their little scientists, and some even went themselves!


Kirsty Griffiths, accounting manager at Lubrizol, was born and brought up in Swanwick, and sends her four-year-old son Ben to the pre-school, as well as being on the committee.


She said: “The pre-school is in a really nice setting, in an old church hall. It offers really good childcare – and good childcare is hard to come by sometimes. In this village, to have that facility is great. You can’t do without it. It makes childcare accessible for people and gives them a chance to get back to work.”


Will Smith, a finance apprentice at Lubrizol – whose UK headquarters in Hazelwood employs around 350 people – also started off his learning journey at Swanwick pre-school.


He said: “For me, Swanwick pre-school holds special memories. It is a great part of the community and does fantastic work in supporting children in the local area. It developed my confidence and behavioural skills and prepared me greatly for primary school. It is a brilliant place to meet other children in the village and the friends I made at Swanwick pre-school are still some of my closest friends.”


Committee members at Swanwick pre-school have been fundraising for their new kitchen as well as receiving donations from local companies like Lubrizol. They say the new facility was “desperately needed” to replace its predecessor which had been in place for many years. It is being used by staff to prepare healthy snacks for the children, as well as helping youngsters get their first taste of baking.


“The staff love the new kitchen,” said pre-school administrator Alison Pickering. “We’re just very grateful for the support we have had from the community and local businesses to help us improve our pre-school and provide childcare for generations to come.”


Swanwick pre-school, which has also benefited in the past from a new outdoor area which Lubrizol also helped fund, has been going for 52 years and has around 70 children on its books, running sessions between 9am and 4pm at £4.83 an hour.


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