Kingshurst Caterpillars was set up in 2005 and provides a stimulating environment for 2-3 year olds to learn social skills and develop confidence ready for school.
For over 10 years the playgroup operated from Kingshurst Youth and Community Centre, however, re-development plans for the area meant that a new base for the playgroup was needed. In 2017, the playgroup moved to newly refurbished premises located next to Kingshurst Primary School, School Close.
Elaine Herbert, Chairperson of Kingshurst Caterpillars said: “Although the move was unplanned, it has been really positive for us. Re-locating has enabled us to increase the number of places from 26 to 40. We now have windows and lots of outdoor space for the children to play and enjoy. We arrived in January with 26 children and we’re now nearly full to capacity. We’re a much needed and valued service.”
In February 2017, the playgroup became a Community Interest Company with advice and guidance from the Community Enterprise for Success, a business programme supported by Solihull Council and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.
“It was a great help to have an expert in these matters to advise us on most appropriate governance structure for our group and then support us with the registration process. Being a CIC will help strengthen our financial footing and ability to provide free pre-school provision to low income families in the area,” added Elaine.
More good news came in August as Children in Need awarded Kingshurst Caterpillars a grant of £50,000 over three years to provide supported play sessions to two to four year-olds.
Manager, Kerie Drinkwater said: “The majority of the children live in high rise flats or maisonettes and do not have access to safe outdoor play. We take children from their second birthday in order that they can access the benefits and experiences at the earliest age possible.”
Kingshurst Caterpillars Playgroup is open weekdays and can be found on School Close, Birmingham, B37 6BN. For more information call 07947 661067.
Mission: To provide a safe, caring and stimulating environment to enable all children to learn and grow to their full potential
- Pre-school provision to low income families and disadvantaged children in North Solihull
- Facilities include a large playroom, entrance hall, outdoor play area, toilets and storage facilities.
Legal structure: Community Interest Company (2017)
Business challenge: Adopt new governance structure
The Community Enterprise for Success Programme is part-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund Programme. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for the European Regional Development Fund, which is one of the funds established by the European Union to help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support local businesses and create jobs. For more information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf