Hartlepool MP Mike Hill’s praise for new pre-school nursery

A new children’s nursery was given the seal of approval when it was formally opened by Hartlepool MP Mike Hill.

By Mark Payne
Wednesday, 22 May, 2019, 17:52
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill opens ABC123 Pre-School, Oxford Road, with owner Kerry Dowdall (front furthest right).

Mr Hill unveiled a plaque and cut a cake during his visit to ABC 123 Pre-School in Oxford Road, Hartlepool.

The nursery opened its doors to families in March and is run by husband and wife Steve and Kerry Dowdall who previously worked for the Ministry of Defence in Germany.

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill opens ABC123 Pre-School, Oxford Road, with owner Kerry Dowdall.

They renovated a disused building in Oxford Road and are offering apprenticeship opportunities and placements with Hartlepool College of Further Education.

Mr Hill praised ABC 123’s facilities and contribution to early years care in the town.

He said: “Kerry and Steve have done a fantastic job of setting up this pre-school facility in Hartlepool.

“They have hit the ground running and you can really see that their experience as teachers in the armed services shows.

“It is a safe, well organised learning environment and one that they should be proud of.

“I’m especially impressed by their flexible approach to pre-school provision including having a minibus to do pick ups and drop offs.

“It’s a great addition to the Oxford Road area and hopefully the start of exciting things to come through its regeneration.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The nursery currently looks after 10 children who are aged between 18 months and three.

They provide 15 hours government funded childcare for two to four-year-olds, and extended childcare for children aged three and four.

And it also gives two weeks free childcare to all forces, emergency service and NHS medical employers.

Kerry Dowdall said: “Things are building up slowly. It’s lovely to have that closeness with children and see them grow and develop.

“We invited Mike to see what we are trying to give to Hartlepool in childcare.”

The nursery also employs fulltime staff member Sade Foster, an apprentice in Jack Brallisford and Chloe Crannage who has been on a placement through the college of further education.

Council officials have also given their approval.

Lorraine Hutchinson, a senior welfare officer, said: “When I came here initially there was only grass so to see this provision and what they have done is very good.

“I think it is good for the area as well. We wish them well.”