Manager at the Bolton School Nursery, Claire Thompson, has bid a fond farewell to the setting she has managed for 18 years, since its initial opening.
Parents, children and staff wished her well and waved her off, as she embarks on her next adventure.
Thompson said: “The biggest thrill for me has been seeing the children progress and grow from babies to young adults in the school.
“It has also been a pleasure to work with an outstanding team, who are both colleagues and friends and with incredibly supportive parents.
“I am particularly proud to have overseen the growth of this flourishing nursery. When I started there was no furniture, children or staff and now it is well-established as an outstanding setting.
“When we are inspected, the finding is always that we are ‘outstanding’ with no recommendations for improvement!”
When Thompson first started, the setting had only 3 children on its opening. Now, 18 years on, over 180 children attend the setting.
Mrs Thompson continued: “During my tenure, there have been massive changes. I’ve overseen the implementation of five different DfE curriculums and expectations and the amount of paperwork are now a lot higher.
“I think as a society we have come to learn how important it is to get the foundations right for the early years’ development of children. The impact that these formative years have on children is certainly more in the forefront of the media’s mind and in parents’ expectations.”
Headmistress of the girls’ division at Bolton School said of Thompson’s time with the setting: “Claire has been a wonderful member of the Bolton School community who has played the pivotal role in making the nursery such a warm, welcoming and enriching setting for both children and their parents.
“She is professional to her fingertips and we are all grateful for all that she has achieved in the past eighteen years.
“Everybody wishes Claire all the best in her future career and we are all looking forward to welcoming her successor, Joanne Hewitt, who will ensure that the Bolton School Nursery remains at the forefront of Early Years education in the borough.”