Smart Tots Day Nursery in Banbury town centre surrounded by smiles at re-opening celebration

A Banbury day nursery hosted a reopening celebration just over one year after a fire left its building badly damaged.

By Matt Elofson
Friday, 21st January 2022, 11:08 am
Cllr Shaida Hussain at the reopening of Smart Tots Day Nursery in Horse Fair of the Banbury town centre (Submitted photo)

Parents and staff gathered around as Cllr Shaida Hussain, the mayor of Banbury, cut the ribbon to symbolise the beginning of a new era for Smart Tots Day Nursery.

The event, held at the nursery's town centre location in Horse Fair on Saturday January 15, acted as a celebration and thank you to all those who’ve played a part in helping the families and children of Smart Tots. The nursery had been without a permanent home for a year, after a fire in December 2020 left the building badly damaged.

Cllr Shaida Hussain, who officially re-opened the nursery, said: “I’m delighted that I can be here for such a great moment for Smart Tots, today clearly means so much to everyone, and it’s such a great thing to be involved with. I’d like to say a massive congratulations to the team and wish them all the best of luck for the future.”

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Smart Tots’ Manager Pav Bilkhu receives flowers at the nursery's reopening ceremony (Submitted photo)

Charlotte Ellis, mum of Smart Tots pupil Rosalie, was over the moon with the standard of the new equipment and layout of the newly renovated space.

She said: “My husband and I have been blown away by the quality finish of the nursery – it’s so bright and welcoming. We were so excited to see the nursery that we booked the day off work to come.

“Rosalie has been back since the start of term but this is the first time we’ve actually seen the space and we can’t believe how great it looks. Rosalie has been coming to Smart Tots since she was 14 months old, so she has only ever known the nursery when it was in the temporary location. She loves all the staff - when we say we’re off to nursery, she practically runs out of the house. When I think she was born in a lockdown, her social skills are far better than when she started, she’s so confident and comfortable coming here.”

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Smart Tots Day Nursery building in Horse Fair of the Banbury town centre reopened earlier this month after fire heavily damaged the building in December 2020

Jacqui added, “Although the last year has been rather testing for us all, we are so grateful that things have turned out so well. The parents and the children deserve the best for sticking with us through all this and now we’re happy to say their new home is better than it has ever been.”

Pav is relieved to be back in a permanent home and is additionally gleeful at the new rejuvenated interior, new toys and a better, more accessible layout.

She said: “It’s honestly just so nice to see so many people here enjoying the new nursery. We’re so happy and proud of it and it’s fantastic to see everyone else’s reaction. We all had a brilliant day, showing parents around and enjoying cake and nibbles with our guests - it makes us realise how lucky we are to be in such an amazing place and part of such a thoughtful and caring community.”

For more information about the care supplied by Complete Childcare in Banbury, please visit: https://www.completechildcare.co.uk/smart-tots-day-nursery

Smart Tots pupil Rosalie eats a cake at the nursery's reopening celebration (Submitted photo)