Happy 20th birthday – and more to come

Playmates Nursery youngsters and adults at the 20th anniversary event that was held in the Place in the Park at Ward Jackson Park.
Playmates Nursery youngsters and adults at the 20th anniversary event that was held in the Place in the Park at Ward Jackson Park.

A DAY nursery is celebrating after reaching 20 years in the business.

Julie Hall told of her delight at the success of the Hartlepool-based Playmates private day nursery, in Murray Street which she has owned and run since 1993.

The nursery’s two proprietors are Julie and her husband Stephen Hall. Julie praised Stephen and the rest of the team for their fantastic backing. To mark the big occasion, the nursery held a celebration at The Place in the Park in Ward Jackson Park.

Julie said: “It has always been a passion of mine to run my own nursery and to be a successful business woman but to do this I have had a lot of support from my husband, family and friends.”

Another important factor, she said, was “a good rapport with staff. Without good staff the nursery would not be as successful as it is today and for this I thank everyone.”

Playmates has grown from three staff to 33.

Julie added: “It has been an honour and privilege for me to have been able to share in the upbringing and moulding of many children’s lives in Hartlepool. It is wonderful to see children who attended the nursery in its early years now bringing their children to be nurtured and cared for by us.”

Julie, a former student of Eldon Grove High School for girls, married Stephen in 1976 and they lived in the Murray Street home of Julie’s grandmother, who she looked after in her later years. It was a home which Julie later bought.

She said: “After having my second child, I began child minding for other people. After being inundated with enquiries, my husband started renovating the property to operate a nursery on the ground floor.”

A third child followed for Julie. As her own family grew, so did her successful business. She was one of more than 200 representatives of nurseries from all over England to be invited to 10 Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister and attend a garden party as a recognition for providing quality childcare.

Since then, more awards have followed including hugely impressive Ofsted gradings. But Julie and the team are not resting on their laurels.

She said: “To celebrate after 20 successful years in business, we have purchased another property to extend our facility even further.”