New Portstewart base for Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones Creche is moving to Portstewart. CR24-375PL
Stepping Stones Creche is moving to Portstewart. CR24-375PL

Stepping Stones Creche is moving to the former Montague Nursing Home premises at Church Street in Portstewart.

The creche, which been based on the Ulster University Coleraine campus for 42 years was founded by several post-graduate students of the University, as a way to provide childcare whilst they studied.

It grew from a single classroom, to a cross-community crèche providing daycare for 64 families, many of whom are students and staff, but also serves the wider community.

Earlier this year, the University issued the Stepping Stones Board of Directors with an eviction notice.

Since then, the directors have been working tirelessly to find alternative premises so that they could continue to operate the business and save the jobs of 17 staff members.

Commenting on the move to the former Montague premises, which have been vacant since 2012, a spokesperson for Stepping Stones told The Coleraine Times: “We jumped at the opportunity to move here.

“The majority of our current users are from the Triangle area, and are happy with the move. We are excited about how this move will enable us to grow in the future, we have already been able to add additional spaces for children, and our close proximity to both primary schools in Portstewart will allow us to take on pre-school children who require wrap round care.

“We will also be extending our opening hours, which will allow working parents more flexibility with pickups and drop offs.

“The new premises are wonderful, with plenty of space and within walking distance of the beach and play parks, which is a fantastic benefit.

“Our future plan is to expand further, with the incorporation of an afterschool’s facility.

“We feel our business will be a great addition to the local economy in Portstewart, bringing new jobs to the area as we expand and providing affordable childcare in an established and well run facility.

“We have over 14 nationalities currently attending the crèche and pride ourselves on being diverse and inclusive.

“We are run as a non-for-profit, charitable organisation and our Board of Directors is made up from parents of current and past users.”

To celebrate 42 years on the University campus and the move to Portstewart, the creche will be holding a family fun day on Sunday, August 214, 12-4pm, with bouncy castles, face painting, magician, balloon modelling and much more.

This will be held at the current building, at the Ulster University campus at Cromore Road, Coleraine.

For further details visit www.steppingstonescreche.co.uk, email info@steppingstonescreche.co.uk, telephone 07925129505 or find them on facebook.