Edale Stepping Stones was set up as a charity in response to consultation in the village which suggested that families with young children were having to travel out of the valley to find childcare which suited their needs. A Board of Trustees was set up and started the process to apply for Big Lottery funding to provide a start-up grant and sustainability funding on a phased basis over the first 5 years. Unfortunately, due to the arrival of Covid19, the Lottery funding and many other charitable grants were re-directed to address the immediate needs that arose because of the national pandemic. Giving these circumstances the start-up of Edale Stepping Stones relied totally on the community contributions of resources for which we are extremely grateful, and the willingness of Theresa Skillen and Naomi Compton to work full-time on an entirely voluntarily basis. We are also delighted that now we are established we will be working with FOES supporting many of the fundraising events throughout the year that benefit the children of the school and some of which will now benefit the nursery as well.
Some of you will have read about the threats to the sustainability of nurseries at present, and the limited funding received from the government for the ‘free childcare’. The childcare fees paid by parents in Edale are comparative with those of other providers outside the valley and together they do cover the current costs, primarily two members of staff and the lease for the premises. As Trustees we are obviously aiming to make sure that Edale Stepping Stones can become financially sustainable without the need for free-labour long term. In order to do this, we will be advertising the currently un-filled places.
Some of you responded positively to the school’s request for regular giving when it was needed, and we are now asking that you consider whether you would like to contribute by regular giving to the sustainability of the nursery. We are hoping that this will only be needed for the next two years as a contribution to general costs. Following that any funding that is received will help to fund the extras.