Report by the Chair of Directors

Annual Report 2023

This year has seen an exciting time as we emerged out of the Covid pandemic and were encouraged to return to some form of normality. The staff have shown enormous resilience, courage and empathy to bring the business forward, all credit must go to Mel and Jemma for mentoring the staff and steering the business onwards.

I wish to express my thanks to the staff team we have at the Nursery, they are the testament to the outstanding setting we have. They strive to show care and compassion set alongside professionalism that pours out of every corner of the setting. This is shown by again being in the strong position of having a waiting list to enter the nursery.

Whilst the day to day running of the Nursery is taken care of by our great staff, overseeing such a business as ours must have people with the foresight, vision, and enthusiasm to make it succeed along with making difficult and sometimes unwanted decisions, thankfully I am proud to say I am part of a small team that has the diversity to challenge and the empathy to understand the wider plan. I personally thank all Directors for their own contributions to the Nursery. Due to not having a clerk still, my thanks must go to Sarah who has multi tasked through the meetings to produce the minutes in a professional manner. Having had some Directors make the decision to leave us, notably a long-standing director from our board, we will look this coming year to strengthen our board.

We have been ably assisted by our accountant, Jane Ascroft, who has steered us through the finances of a business such as ours seamlessly. Our aim is to have a thriving business for years to come, but financial challenges are coming at us from all sides, rising living wage costs, running costs, and maintaining competitive fees for parents is a fine balance which we continue deal with on an annual basis.

Numbers at the Nursery have remained steady throughout the year, with almost 100 children spread across the rooms, with a further 50 children attending either before or after school clubs run by the staff.

Jemma as Business Manager has managed to show improvement in this year’s accounts. Income increased from 2021 mainly due to fee rises. Expenditure also increased from 2021, due mainly to the rise in our salary costs to meet Living Wage rises and maintaining being a competitive employer, albeit not as steeply as other businesses. Despite the expenditure increase we did finish the year with a profit to carry forward, something that will allow us to reinvest back into the business in this next financial year.

With the positive outlook of the leadership team, we feel that we are addressing any concerns for the future of the business. With a strong board of Directors and excellent staff, we are working to continue to offer the ‘Outstanding’ level of care, attention to detail and dedication needed to operate a great Nursery.

Iain Brown, Chair of Directors