Toddlers group could close for want of children

A PRE-SCHOOL facility in Auchnagatt is appealing for new members, after the number of children attending dropped dramatically this year.

Anne Chalmers, who helps run the Auchnagatt & District pre-School Centre says that the village’s toddlers group is down to six regular members. Decreasing numbers of children at the facility are a cause for concern, and if numbers don’t increase the body will have to consider discontinuing the sessions.

Anne said: “The number of toddlers has decreased notably over recent months. We cover a wide area, with parents coming from as far away as New Deer, Ellon and Stuartfield, but the youngsters who are going on to the Playgroup aren’t being replaced, and we’re now down to six children.

“The facility is open for toddlers and babies aged up to 3, and is run by parent volunteers. It’s a great facility, and it would be a shame if we had to discontinue it. It’s been going for twenty years now, and there’s loads of youngsters to take part in. We’re well stocked with toys and equipment, and the youngsters get to take place in arts, crafts and themed activities.”

She added that the group had already started a campaign to retain the facility, with banners in the village and planned fundraising events.

“We’re running a ‘Boogie Babies’ event on May 26 to give the youngsters something just a little bit different, and it would be great if local parents came along.”

The sessions run between 9.45 and 11.45 on Mondays and Tuesdays at Auchnagatt Village Hall.