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Creating over 20 new jobs on North Tyneside is child’s play for an enterprising local woman following the expansion of Footprints Day Nursery to a second site in Wallsend.

Joanne Ure (28) from Walkerville successfully opened her first nursery in 2016 with the launch of the first Footprints Day Nursery in North Shields town centre. Now, with thanks to ongoing help from the North Tyneside Business Factory and TEDCO Business Support, Joanne is set to open her second nursery at the site of the former Sure Start centre in Wallsend.

The new Footprints Day Nursery will open in September of this year with capacity for up 84 children aged from 6 weeks to 5 years old. The nursery will be housed within the purpose-built former Sure Start centre in Wallsend which sadly closed in 2016.

Joanne comments: “This is an exciting stage in the expansion of Footprints Nursery but also a real positive step forward for parents in Wallsend who like me, were saddened to see the popular Sure Start centre close its doors for good. The prime location of the centre and its excellent reputation left a real gap in local childcare provision for parents and I’m absolutely delighted that Footprints Nursery will be able to help bridge that gap come September.

“I’ve worked in early years settings for just over 10 years, working my way up from part time nursery nurse to manager and now owner. I always had plans to open a nursery which offered a flexible offering for parents coupled with an engaging and safe environment for children. Since I opened –Footprints in North Shields town centre the response has been overwhelmingly positive. We are now at capacity with a waiting list to January 2019 for places which I see as a real endorsement from parents of our approach to deliver quality, accessible and affordable childcare.”

The young entrepreneur, who has a degree in Childcare through Teesside University created her first child care setting for up to 22 children per day with a view to starting small and expanding to manage a bigger operation when the right opportunity presented itself.

Joanne continues: “When I heard just after Christmas that the former Sure Start centre in Wallsend was going to be available I absolutely jumped at the chance to open a second Footprints Nursery. The loss of the Sure Start centres in North Tyneside was a real blow to local parents and I knew only too well just how important this particular centre was to parents. The facilities are practically brand new and the purpose-built nursery has everything I need to offer the kind of setting that fits perfectly with the Footprints ethos.

“As a much bigger nursery, we will be creating over 20 jobs for skilled staff and in the process we will also be delivering wrap around and out of school care for children in the local area as part of our service for local children. The front portion of the building will also be leased to offer family-friendly services for the area and we are currently in talks with a number of interesting providers to set up in the units.

“We really do see ourselves as a nursery that that goes above and beyond to better accommodate parents and we do that through competitive daily rates and all-in fees to help better manage monthly childcare costs for parents.”
Footprints Nursery was supported by TEDCO as part of the Start and Grow programme, which is delivered by TEDCO Business Support in the North East and supported by the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). The programme is delivered throughout England by Cavendish Enterprise in areas where there are lower levels of business start-up to help new enterprises get up and running and develop new employment opportunities in the private sector with a range of services, including one-to-one mentoring, business planning and helping new ventures get investment ready.

Joanne continues: “Footprints is a colourful, child friendly environment, designed specifically to stimulate children up to 5 years old. My business advisor, Janice Ross, has helped me shape not only the future of the business but assisted me when it comes to managing a new business start-up so I can concentrate more readily on the day –to-day operations. Her input really has been invaluable and I can’t thank her enough.”

North Tyneside Council’s Business Factory, the enterprise support programme designed to encourage more start-ups in the borough and support existing businesses to succeed, also helped Joanne on her business journey.

Janice Ross, Business Advisor added: “Joanne has such passion for her business and has successfully grown from employing three employees to close to 25 within just two years of opening the doors of her first nursery. Her commitment and vision is just one part of her deep understanding of what children and parents need from a childcare setting and it’s been a pleasure for me to work with her over the past two years as she has developed her business to achieve such a positive local reputation. I wish her and her new venture all the very best and look forward to working with Joanne on the next stage of her journey.”

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