A WELL known nursery is under new management and promising an exciting future in child care.

The Little Ducklings Nursery on Harmire Enterprise Park, in Barnard Castle, has changed its name to Rooftops Nursery School, expanding a brand that has proved successful in Richmond for its owner Hannah Hurley.

Children, parents and staff at the 70-place nursery for age 0-8 are currently being asked for feedback on how they would like to see the facility develop in the coming months.

Plans include offering children a new menu of locally sourced fresh food, prepared and cooked from scratch by the nursery’s chef. Particular attention will be paid to allergies and diets including pescatarian, vegan and vegetarian.

Aspects of the Montessori ethos, which Richmond Rooftops uses to develop children’s independence through play, will also be adopted and staff will be trained in Montessori basics in 2019.

Hannah said: “I have always wanted to run a second nursery and was attracted by the fact this one was purpose-built and blessed with so much internal and outdoor space. It also appealed as I had thought Barnard Castle would be the ideal location for another nursery.

“All the rooms lead out to a fantastic garden and there is plenty of parking for easy drop-off and collection. It has so much potential to improve and the staff are so positive.”

The nursery is open from 7.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday to help working parents and also offers the flexible new 30 hours childcare scheme for three to four-year-olds, as well as funded 15 hour placements for three to four-year-olds and two year funded places. Holiday clubs will cater for five to eight-year-olds when schools are closed.

Rooftops is open all year round apart from the Christmas week and is accessible to employers, including those based on the Enterprise park and at nearby GSK, with new housing being built close by.

“Barnard Castle is a great place with many people making the lifestyle choice to move here,” said Hannah. “It is expanding and has a good array of independent shops, cafes and restaurants.

“I am looking forward to becoming part of the local community and linking up as much as we can. I am also really excited about developing the garden.

“Outdoor play is vital to children’s development. It is somewhere they can be in touch with nature, use twigs, stones and leaves to develop their maths skills, play with chalk, paint and mud and there is a bamboo area where they can hide, an important peaceful refuge, particularly for children with additional support needs.”

The nursery can be contacted on (01833) 690620 or info@rooftopsnurseryschool.co.uk