Report by the Chair of Directors

Annual Report 2021 - 2022

No one thought that the COVID pandemic would last for so long; this now seems a part of normal life! This in turn proved to test the Nursery’s resilience as a business and all credit must go to Mel Mitchell and Jemma Fletcher for steering the business through such a tough time.

Throughout the pandemic, staff have shown their commitment and energy and I wish to express my thanks to them. The Nursery cannot offer the outstanding service without them. They strive to show care and compassion set alongside the professionalism that pours out of every corner of the setting. This is shown by the strong position of running to capacity in each room.

While 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; thankfully we have this with our Directors. This year, like the last, certainly proved to test our wits; I personally thank all Directors for their contributions to the Nursery.

Our board, while offering a wide expanse of knowledge and experience, always has room for expansion; we will look to this coming year to strengthen our board. We have been ably assisted by our accountant, Jane Ascroft, who has seamlessly steered us through the finances of a business such as ours. Our aim is to have a thriving business for years to come; however, financial challenges are coming at us from all sides, rising living wage costs and running costs; maintaining competitive fees for parents is a fine balance which we continue to deal with on an annual basis. Due to not having a clerk still, my thanks go to David and Sarah who have multi-tasked through the meetings to produce minutes in a professional manner.

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, having carried out our 3 and 5 year plans, allowed for a deep dive of our finances; while we have a great reliance on funding, Jemma has managed to show improvement in this year’s accounts. Income increased from 2020 mainly due to fee rises. Expenditure also increased from 2020 due mainly to the rise in our salary costs to meet the Living Wage rises, remaining being a competitive employer. Despite the expenditure increase, we finished the year with a profit to carry forward, a cushion for a short time I have no doubt!

With the positive outlook of the leadership team, we feel that we are addressing all 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