A Portsmouth pre-school has secured its medium-term future thanks to a commercial sponsorship deal.
Faced with a steep hike in rent, cuts in funding and increased staff costs, for the first time in its three-decade history the pre-school needed to look beyond its own fundraising to survive.
Help came in the shape of mum and international account manager of Bladez Toyz, Emma Costello, who has forged a three-year deal between her company and the pre-school her child attends.
Pre-school manager Debbie Roberts said: “With so many new financial pressures facing us for the first time we have had to explore other ways of bringing in much-needed money.
“Our rent has almost doubled, funding for staff training has been cut and we’re facing extra costs through pension contributions and the new national living wage – there was only so much we could do with our own fundraising and that was no longer enough.
“It’s therefore a pleasure and a privilege to join up with Emma and Bladez Toyz. Given the relentless pressures on the public purse, the company’s whole-hearted support has secured the future for the medium term, meaning we can continue providing invaluable pre-school learning to our wonderful children.”
As Jack and Jills’ sponsor, Bladez Toyz is providing funding for new computers and a new online resource so the pre-school and parents can record a child’s learning journey.
In addition, it will be providing the youngsters with new equipment and a range of its remote-control toys.
Emma said: “It is a fantastic pre-school and I am honoured we are able to support it in this way. I have a little boy at the pre-school and I see first-hand how brilliantly the staff interact with both the children and us parents.
“It’s very hands-on and most of all cares so much for our children – they really put them first.
“By sponsoring Jack and Jill we are supporting this wonderful place of learning to continue providing a first class service to the children of Milton.”
Jack and Jill is a registered charity and is rated Good by Ofsted. Its aim is to help children develop social and educational skills in a warm, caring and fun environment.
The school, which still has a few places left for September 2016, is based on the site of Meon Infant and Junior schools.
It provides learning for up to 50 two to four year-olds. Jack and Jill employs eight part time staff and is run by a committee, which also oversees fundraising.
Founded by Portsmouth born-and-bred entrepreneur Iain Morgan, 38, Bladez Toyz employs 18 local people.
Iain Morgan, a former pupil of Mayfield School, founded the design-and-distribution firm in 2008 following an investment from millionaire businessman Peter Jones of BBC Two Dragons’ Den fame.
Note to editors:
More information about Jack and Jill.
Jack and Jill pre-school helps children on their first steps to education by using structured activities devised by trained staff.
It supports independence and ensures children are ready for the next important stage in their lives.
Visits to Jack and Jill’s preschool are always welcomed. Parents interested in placing their child on the waiting list can contact Jack and Jill on 02392 830040 or visit the website www.jackandjillmilton.co.uk
There are still a few spaces available for children for September 2016.
For more information please contact Rachel Read, account director at Deep South Media, on 01202 534487.