Bearhugs goes from strength to strength

Bearhugs nursery Horncastle
Bearhugs nursery Horncastle

A children’s nursery is celebrating another chapter of an amazing success story after positive reports from Ofsted inspectors.

They were impressed by standards at Bearhugs Nurseries in Horncastle and Tattershall.

The business was started by Sonia Elton who explained: “I was the parent of two baby boys who attended a lovely small nursery run by Lincolnshire County Council at Horncastle College.

“The council decided to close the nursery. As parents we fought hard to keep it open, to no avail.

“At this point, I decided to step in and fund the reopening of the business.”

Sonia has a background in business but no formal knowledge of child care, but was joined by Sam Hoyes, a qualified early years practitioner.

She added: “After a real struggle to take the nursery over from the council, we opened the doors to Bearhugs in the summer of 2012 with three members of staff and eight children in a temporary building in the grounds of Horncastle College.

“We now operate from a much bigger building on the same site, with a huge garden, over 20 staff and 120 children on our register, including a thriving after school and holiday club.”

Last summer, the pair opened Bearhugs in Tattershall. It employs another 10 staff and has 35 children on the register and is growing daily.

Both nurseries were rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted following inspections in November and January.

Inspectors praised staff for the highest levels of care and said children were safe, secure, happy and motivated.

The nurseries have strong links with Boston College. Former apprentice Samantha Day has been appointed as Bearhugs first trainee assistant manager.

The nursery is also on the shortlist for the ‘small employer of the year’ award by The Lincolnshire and Rutland Employment and Skills Board.

The award ceremony will be held on March 13 when the winners will be announced.