Westbank will soon be providing even more services and facilities for preschool and school-aged children near Exeter, overseen by a highly-experienced new Childcare Manager.

The expansion of Westbank’s Kidzone will give families in the Exminster area the option of wraparound childcare - a ‘one-stop’ facility for drop-off and pick-up - and a stimulating new indoor-outdoor environment where their children can play and explore.

Lucy Elliott recently joined the Westbank team as Kidzone Childcare Manager. Lucy has more than 12 years of experience as an Ofsted-registered childminder and was graded ‘outstanding’ in two inspections. Before that, she worked in safeguarding as a Family Assessment Worker.

Lucy says, “I couldn’t have joined Westbank at a better time for me and to help fulfil the charity’s ambitions to provide high-quality childcare for local families. Our Pre-school for the Over Twos opened at the end of April, and we’re steadily welcoming more children. Now we’re in the process of recruiting more staff and hoping to start a Breakfast Club from the October half term. We hope this will help local families as there are limited Breakfast places at the local school.

“Our focus is to provide tailored, play-based learning experiences for each child, meeting their individual needs and interests. We already run an After School Club and Holiday Club for children aged 3 to 12, and a Playgroup for babies, toddlers and preschool children and their carers on Monday and Friday mornings. Parents and carers know their children are in a fun, safe, secure environment at Kidzone. It’s brilliant to be part of that.”

The children will soon have even more space for imaginative, free-flow play activities as Westbank is about to extend and remodel the outside recreation area, which adjoins the large indoor spaces. These changes will enable Lucy and her expanding team to offer more places for local children and more age-appropriate, play-based learning.