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Upminster nursery to expand following rises in demand for childcare

PUBLISHED: 13:00 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:52 07 August 2018

L-R: Geoff Smith, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and Grace Stratton co-owner of Storybook Day Nursery. Picture: Simon Hildrew

L-R: Geoff Smith, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and Grace Stratton co-owner of Storybook Day Nursery. Picture: Simon Hildrew

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The owners of a family-run nursery in Upminster are planning to double their pre-school capacity to reflect increasing demand for childcare in the borough.

L-R: Grace Stratton co-owner of Storybook Day Nursery and Geoff Smith, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Picture: Simon Hildrew.L-R: Grace Stratton co-owner of Storybook Day Nursery and Geoff Smith, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Picture: Simon Hildrew.

Storybook Day Nursery in Front Lane was set up in 2015 by sisters Grace Stratton and Sophie Higgs, alongside their mother Gill Fluin who is a former teacher.

With the support of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking the owners of Storybook were able to buy their own site and will increase their baby-room placements by six and introduce a sensory room.

Grace said: “Demand for childcare is on the rise, evident by the fact that all our current spaces are booked two years in advance.

“We know that the next step for our business is to create more placements for local children, as high-quality childcare shouldn’t be a luxury.

“The team at Lloyds Bank fully understood what we were trying to achieve and took the time to understand the history of our relationship with the previous landlord and made the process completely streamlined.”

Since its launch the nursery has secured an Outstanding Ofsted rating and has a waiting list until 2020.

“We’ve seen more and more reports of capacity shortages in early education, so it’s important that nurseries like Storybook Day Nursery have the support they need to invest in their facilities and provide essential services to more local families,” said Geoff Smith, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

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