Carousel Nursery merger 'feels like reuniting the family' says director

PUBLISHED: 17:00 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 19:01 29 January 2020

The Carousel Nursery in Budleigh, during a visit by author Jan Oke. Ref exe 02 20TI 7012. Picture: Terry Ife

The Carousel Nursery in Budleigh, during a visit by author Jan Oke. Ref exe 02 20TI 7012. Picture: Terry Ife

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An Exmouth nursery is set to close its doors next month as it merges with its sister site in Budleigh Salterton.

Carousel Nursery, which is based at Exmouth Football Club, will shut on Friday, February 14.

The newly-combined nursery will re-launch three days later at its Budleigh Hospital Health and Wellbeing Hub home.

Director Sarka Andersonova told the Journal that a negative Ofsted report last year was a factor in the decision, but said she was becoming over stretched between the two venues.

Carousel Nursery has its roots in Budleigh, having been based at St Peter's Primary School until 2017.

Ms Andersonova said the merging the two nurseries 'feels like reuniting the family'.

"I am very busy with the nurseries and I was being torn between the two sites," she said.

"The Ofsted report gave us a bit of a problem too.

"I decided the merger was best for us as a team and for me - I can't clone myself, I can't be in two places at once.

"I feel really happy making this decision."

The mum-of-three also said there would be no job losses as a result of closing the Exmouth site, which has been open since January 2017, and merging it with Budleigh.

They care for 20 children in Exmouth currently, 13 of whom will now be going to the Budleigh site.

Ms Andersonova said: "We are lucky that 70 per cent of parents are coming with us and they are willing to travel to get their children here."

She said Carousel will be taking on extra room at the hub which will eventually be 'free-flow', meaning children of different age groups can interact with each other.

The nursery is also taking on a small kitchen and Ms Andersonova wants to create a 'seamless transition' between the nursery and the Age Concern day care centre next door.

Children from the Budleigh nursery already do regular singing for the clients at Age Concern.

She said the door is open for a possible return to Exmouth in the future but said the child care market in the town is 'saturated'.

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