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Nursery that's become a cornerstone of the local community turns 20

Children and young people

Friday, 08 March 2024
Staff at Stainsby Nursery welcome Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke and Deputy Mayor Philippa Storey as they celebrate the setting’s 20th anniversary

A Middlesbrough nursery that’s become a cornerstone of the local community celebrated its 20th birthday this week.

Stainsby Nursery opened its doors on March 4, 2004, with an initial intake of five children.

Manager Janet Dixon led the five-strong launch team – and three of those are still at the Whinney Banks nursery two decades later.

The nursery takes children from six weeks to five years and also offers a ‘wrap-around’ service for children who attend Whinney Banks Primary School.

And this week, Middlesbrough Mayor Chris Cooke, Deputy Mayor Philippa Storey and Karen Smith, Middlesbrough Council’s Head of Achievement, dropped by to join in the celebrations.

They heard how the team has grown over the years to 17, with 80 children on the register, with Janet, her deputy Sarah and Joanne at the helm from the outset.

The nursery has been rated ‘good’ with ‘outstanding’ elements by Ofsted throughout.

At the most recent inspection in 2022 staff were praised for their ‘obvious passion and commitment’, with the inspector highlighting the nursery’s love and warmth.

It’s at the heart of the local community, with youngsters often seen at the local shops and library learning about the local neighbourhood, and the nursery has celebrated numerous events down the years including the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the King’s Coronation.

Janet said: “Throughout the 20 years we have had thousands of children and families through our doors, each one bringing their own personality and character.

“The staff are very proud of all that has been achieved over the years, and this anniversary is a chance to remember the children and special events over the years, and have a party with the children who are here now.

“With the help of our children’s families we have also supported lots of charities, raising money for Zoe’s Place, local foodbanks, Macmillan Nurses, Teesside Hospice and Children in Need.

“It’s been a fantastic 20 years, and we’re still going strong.”

Councillor Philippa Storey, Middlesbrough Deputy Mayor and Executive member for Culture & Education, said: “Stainsby is a fantastic example of the sort of service that gives our young people the perfect start in life.

“The fact that many of the original team are still there, and that some of those who attended as children later came back as parents speaks volumes.

“Congratulations on an amazing 20 years, and here’s to many more to come.”