Nursery lands funding to re-open safely

A Nottinghamshire children’s day nursery which employs 45 staff has secured CBILS funding from Barclays.

Stepping Stones Day Nursery, which is based on Arboretum Street in Nottingham, agreed the funding to honour the business’s ongoing commitments while the economy remains uncertain.

The business, which was established in 2000, offers childcare facilities for 217 children, has 10 playrooms and four separate outdoor areas, making it one of the largest nurseries in the country.

Managing director Tom Holmes said: “This funding not only saw us through the initial period of lockdown but also enabled us to prepare the nursery for re-opening once the Government announced it was safe for us to do so.

“Initially the funding replaced parental income as Stepping Stones did not charge whilst closed, however I quickly recognized that to be able to reopen safely and quickly we would need to make slight changes to how the nursery operated.

“Some of the funding was used to purchase a thermal facial recognition door camera, this camera allows touch free entry into the nursery whilst also monitoring the temperature of anyone entering the nursery, if someone has a high temperature the door will not allow entry. The camera instantly recognizes a high temperature, one of the most shown symptoms of coronavirus, allowing us to keep all our children, parents/carers, and staff safe.

“The funding also went towards other projects which meant we could instantly reopen once the Government deemed it was safe to do so, allowing us to support our key worker parents and those other hard working parents who needed to return to their place of work.

Alan Mele, relationship director at Barclays in Nottingham, said: “I am delighted we have been able to support Stepping Stones through what has been a challenging period for many businesses and pleased they have now been able to re-open and offer a continued service to their customers.”