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Tillymints day nursery on Orchard Park a hit with 'so friendly' Hull community

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: November 16, 2013 By Kevin Shoesmith

A DAY nursery says it is thriving in Orchard Park, despite a rocky start when thieves stole fence panels before it had even opened. Staff at Tillymints, which opened a branch on the estate this summer, say the community has united to ensure the venture
Already, 44 children – aged from just a few weeks' old to five years – attend the £70,000 nursery, which is housed in former council offices on the junction of Orchard Park Road and Ellerburn Avenue.
Manager Liz Railton dismissed the theft as an early hitch, saying that the nursery was proving to be a valuable resource for parents in north Hull.
She said: "We would really like to thank residents of Orchard Park for making us so welcome. People around here have been so friendly and welcoming and the support is really appreciated."
New rules brought in by the Government means parents of children from two years to school age are entitled to 15 hours per week of free childcare. Previously, parents had to wait until their child reached their third birthday to take up the offer. Liz said the provision of extra childcare places has made a real difference to life in Orchard Park and north Hull estate.
"It is helping a lot of families living on the estate," she said. "Parents have told us they can already notice the difference in their children's language and communication skills as a result of them coming here."
Liz said parents often supported fundraising initiatives run by the nursery and did what they could to support the business.
"For Children in Need, the children came in wearing their pyjamas to raise money," she said.
"We also get parents doing their bit to help us by bringing in spare clothes in case one of the children has an accident."
Nikki Smith, finance manager of Tillymints, which has four other branches in Hull, said the Orchard Park centre had proved to be a hit with residents.
"The children have settled wonderfully," she said. "It's going fantastically well and the parents have really helped.
"We're practically full at the moment, but we do have a few places left."
Chantelle Elvidge, of 30th Avenue, north Hull estate, uses the nursery for her children, Mayson Brewer, three, and Mylers Brewer, two .
She said: "Tillymints is a godsend.
"The kids loving going there and the staff let you know what's going on.
"My three-year-old has autism, but the staff have really brought him on. They're great with him."

ellerburnv open

Free nursery places for 1,000 of Hull's poorest families

counciller rosie

MORE than 1,000 of the poorest families in Hull are being offered free nursery places. The city council is offering 1,072 free childcare places to drive up educational standards, encourage parents back to work and create jobs for nursery nurses.
Parents who would not normally be able to afford to put their two-year-old child in nursery can now access 15 hours a week of free childcare. So far, 808 two-year-olds have taken up the offer, with Hull City Council able to offer the 1,072 total this academic year.
Councillor Rosie Nicola, portfolio holder for learning, skills and equality, said: "It is hard to prove what the long-term benefits will be because we don't know. But I have to believe that, when we are talking about children from deprived areas coming into a formal setting, where they will develop a whole range of social and life skills, it is hard not to believe it is going to have an impact.
"Parents have said to me that although it has only been a short time, their children's confidence is noticeably better and their speech and language skills were already clearly improving."
The Government-funded scheme means this year the poorest 20 per cent of families in the city are eligible.
From next year, the city council will extend the provision to the poorest 40 per cent.
It is expected to open the places up to more than 300 extra families.
The places will not only have a financial impact for parents, but will also have repercussions right through education.

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