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Paint Pots nursery group sold to social enterprise

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Paint Pots Pre-school & Nursery in Southampton has been sold to Hampshire-based social enterprise, Launchpad Early Years.

Owned and run by David and Anna Wright, the nursery group of nine settings has been bought by Launchpad Early Years, an independent charity chaired by the Bishop of Winchester. The nurseries join Launchpad’s three existing settings in the villages of Barton Stacey, near Winchester, Appleshaw, near Andover, and Boldre near Lymington.

Paint Pots Pre-school & Nursery was founded 29 years ago by David and Anna Wright, who are now retiring.

Well-known in the sector, David Wright (below) has been a judge for the Nursery World Awards and advocate of raising the profile and number of men working in childcare, publishing a book on the subject in 2018. The same year, Paint Pots Pre-school & Nursery won Nursery World’s Nursery Group of the Year.

PHOTO Teri Pengilley

The settings, all of which are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, will continue to be run by the social enterprise under the Paintpots brand. Nursery director Joseph Wright, son of David and Anna, will no longer work for the group and plans to retrain as a primary school teacher.

Anna and David Wright said:

‘Our passion has always been to provide children a loving and homely environment, which is safe, secure and nurturing. The emotional, social and physical development of all the children in our care is so important to us and we know that the team at Launchpads will continue to guide these children through their learning journey.’

Social enterprise Launchpad Early Years was established in 2019 with three pre-schools, which have a broad Christian ethos similar to church schools and are based on the Church of England’s Vision for Education. The settings are open to all children of all faiths.

Commenting on the acquisition of Paint Pots, Reverend Debbie Sellin, Bishop of Southampton, and chair of the Launchpads board, said:

‘David and Anna have put in over 25 years of exceptional work teaching children. Theirs’ is a fantastic achievement and we will seek to carry forward their approach as they prepare for retirement. 

‘Paint Pots’ values of love, laughter and learning, correspond closely to our own vision for early years education. I am delighted to welcome the Paint Pots team into the Launchpads family, and we’re looking forward to working together to offer more children a friendly and stimulating environment where they can explore, play, and learn with the support of caring and dedicated staff.’

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Paint Pots has several sites across Southampton including nurseries and pre-schools in Freemantle, Sholing, Swaythling, Shirley, West End, Harefield, Testwood, Portswood, Orchard Lane and an out-of-school at Portswood.

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