The Cedars School in Aldermaston is a focal point of its community with hundreds of years of history behind it. To the thanks and delight of many, it is being rescued to serve the community once again in an important and wholesome way. The well-known site is to be converted into a nursery – continuing its history of nurturing the next generation through their crucial early years.
The historic building is being taken over by new owners determined to give the nursery an authentic and traditional feel – one that will match the quintessentially British rural village it is situated in. The school was acquired by Complete Childcare, a Berkshire centred childcare group with 15 day-nurseries.
Managing Director of Complete Childcare, Alec Hodson, spoke about his motivations for investing in the site, saying “After becoming aware of Cedars, its history, its role in the community and the special place it has in people’s hearts, we saw it as a place that was perfect for children and where so many have developed through their formative years. Our mission is to bring our high-quality standard of childcare to families living locally whilst continuing the legacy of this much-loved site.”
The school is situated in the small rural village of Aldermaston – a village steeped in history, largely due to the spectacular Aldermaston Manor, positioned just a few hundred metres southeast of Cedars and built around the same era.
Alec is excited at Complete Childcare’s commitment to bring their established level of quality care to the latest setting in Berkshire and is enchanted by the history of the village and the building. “We want to really go back to the etchings of a traditional nursery. We’re passionate about making a long-term investment for the future of children living across the region by making this site into our head office and a flagship nursery for Complete Childcare. It will become home-base for our administrative team and the training facility for new childcare practitioners. We’re looking forward to Cedars becoming the new template for our childcare practice.
“We know we can do something special with this nursery; its size will allow us to offer a personal feel for both children and parents, giving us that sense of community that made us fall in love with it in the first place. We will retain the historic look of the building and look forward to investing in high-quality resources for the children and nurturing each child through long-established and classical values of care and development.”
The former headteacher of Cedars, Jane O’Halloran, who has remained a much-loved figure in the community, told us “It’s important to me that the Cedars building, which was established for the education of children of the village, should continue to have children’s laughter ringing through it!
“I’m delighted that Alec and his team can carry Cedars on with the enthusiasm and affection our village deserves.”
With renovation plans now well underway, it’s expected that Complete Childcare will welcome local families to look around the new nursery from as soon as February. The team is looking to recruit new teachers and staff to help bolster their professional resources around Berkshire. Alec is committed to helping the local community, saying he is excited at the prospect of attracting local applicants, with full training available for those looking to get into Early Years childcare, and career opportunities available across the group.