Building begins on North Petherton childcare centre

This is The West Country: HARD HAT AREA: from left are Diane Donald, Alfie Caddy, Leah Lane and Sharon Lawrence. HARD HAT AREA: from left are Diane Donald, Alfie Caddy, Leah Lane and Sharon Lawrence.

BUILDING work has begun on a facility which aims to meet a massive demand for childcare places in the town.

The Mercury has reported on The Dolphins Childcare Centre’s plans for a new, larger building, which will allow it to take on more children.

Somerset County Council, which supports the project, said when it was first announced last year that around 17 extra places for two-year-olds were needed in the North Petherton area.

Sharon Lawrence and Diane Donald, owners of Dolphins Childcare Centre, are hoping they will be able to move into the new building on September 1.

It will include three classrooms for nursery, toddler, and pre-school years, as well as a garden and a forest school section.

Sharon and Diane said: “This is such an amazing opportunity for all involved.

“We have seen our waiting lists grow and grow and find it difficult not being able to give parents the care they need.”

Work on the new building comes on the back of a successful Ofsted report for the centre.

It received a “good” rating following an inspection earlier this year, with the report praising the “strong leadership and management”, and saying that children “feel secure, confident and happy”.

Sharon and Diane added: “It’s been a busy year all-round especially with our recent Ofsted inspection – which we are absolutely thrilled about.

“Earlier this year, we also received a five star rating for food hygiene – which is brilliant as we have received this grade successfully every 18 months since opening in 2005.”

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