Tears for Tigers as pre-school closes

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A RASTRICK pre-school is set to close due to lack of funding.

Over the last 12 months Tiny Tigers at Castlefields Infant School has seen a significant drop in the number of two-year-olds who attend and as from October 31 the service will no longer be available.

This will affect 19 children but out of this, 11 will be accommodated in the Little Leopards for three to four year olds.

The school is working with Calderdale Council in order to minimise further potential risk to the other services they offer, Little Leopards and the out of school club.

Head teacher Gemma Elliott said they felt the drop was partly to do with competition within the area but also the economic climate which meant people could no longer afford child care or their circumstances had changed and it was no longer needed.

“It is really sad and it is not something we have taken lightly. We are working with the local authority which has advised us to carry out this course of action,” she said. “We have had some parents come in to express their disappointment but unfortunately we need to take action to maintain other provisions we offer.”

Parent Amanda Lawton has set up a campaign, Save Tiny Tigers, to try and revoke the decision. “My oldest is at Castlefields so it would be physically impossible for me to be in two places at once,” she said.

“We have been told that children who turn three in the next term will be funded from January at Little Leopards but it depends on numbers. If my daughter can not get in to Little Leopards then she will have to stay home with me and miss out.

“I send my daughter to Tigers for her benefit. I saw how good it was for my oldest and I wanted her to follow the same path.”

Christine Ogle’s two-year-old son was struggling with his speech but since starting at Tiny Tigers he has come on heaps and bounds. “The ladies there are fantastic with him. So sad that something so good is about to close.”

Lucy Dale’s daughter has just started at Tiny Tigers and will be devastated when she can’t return after half-term. “She loves it at Tiny Tigers. As soon as she gets there she goes running up to her teachers and gives them cuddles,” she said. “It is going to set her development back and she has come on a lot since going there.”

Louise Sowden said her two-year-old had really settled in. “She is really proud to be a Tiny Tiger and loves showing off her Tiny Tigers logo on her t-shirt. She has also taken a big shine to the teachers and friends there.”

Gemma Tate said it was really sad news especially when all the children had settled down.