NOAH’S Ark Christian Preschool in Warwick closed its doors for the final time on Thursday (July 14) after 30 years.
The preschool opened in September 1992 as Castle Hill Christian Playgroup, when members of Castle Hill Baptist Church – Jan Furlong and Lindsey Langley – recognised a need for preschool provision in the community.
Ms Langley told the Observer: “We realised that children who had attended the church’s ‘Jack and Jill’ toddler group needed a group to progress to as they got beyond toddler age. Many members of the church came on board to help run the group. For the parents, one of the important things was that it was a Christian group.
“I loved my time in playgroup and certainly felt privileged to be part of the start of the children’s educational and social adventure”.
But the childcare needs of families have changed over time, with many needing wrap-around care – something Noah’s Ark could not provide in its current format – and so Castle Hill Baptist Church members made the difficult decision to close the preschool.
A thank you party was held at the pre-school on Sunday (July 10) for families, staff and volunteers, past and present.
Kevin Johnson, pastor of Castle Hill Baptist Church, added:
“Noah’s Ark has cared for and educated the children of Warwick and beyond for the past thirty years. Many families have been in touch to say how much Noah’s Ark has meant to them and share some fond memories.
“Noah’s Ark will be greatly missed by all, but staff and volunteers, past and present, can be proud of the huge part they’ve played in the early years of many children’s lives – nurturing and educating them, all whilst having the most tremendous fun. That great start will impact those children for all their lives.
“We owe a great debt of thanks to all those involved in Noah’s Ark over the years, and wish the current staff well as they move on to new challenges.”