LETTER: Burnley and Pendle Playbus made a difference to young lives

I READ an article in the paper recently about the end of Burnley and Pendle Multi-Racial Playbus.

An enormous thank you is owed to Carole Hopkins and her colleagues for the work they have done over many years taking early years education to areas of Burnley and Pendle where there was little or no nursery provision but often the greatest need for it.

The playbus has made a difference to the lives of many young children, bringing fun and learning in a safe and exciting setting.

Carole has not only organised the curriculum and resources, dealt with all the administration needs of this mobile compact nursery school but she has also worked to raise the funds needed to keep it going over the years.

As headteacher at Woodfield nursery school, Brierfield, I appreciated and valued the knowledge Carole had about the children who were leaving the playbus to come into the nursery school.

She knew about the children’s needs, progress and challenges and, in particular, could identify early difficulties that might need intervention and support.

The children who had attended the playbus were socially confident and ready for the next step in their learning.

It’s very sad to see this still much-needed facility come to an end and young children’s opportunities removed because of targeted cuts. Over 90 names on the waiting list indicates parents value the playbus and children need the playbus but promises of funding and support from various sources have not been kept.

I hope the local councils of Burnley and Pendle and Lancashire County Council appreciate and acknowledge the work Carole and her colleagues have carried out over many Playbus years.