Pre-school boss bids farewell

Heckington Pre-school manager Karen Barry gets a grand send-off by children and their families after being involved for 29 years. Pictured with new manager Emma Deakin. EMN-180726-163905001
Heckington Pre-school manager Karen Barry gets a grand send-off by children and their families after being involved for 29 years. Pictured with new manager Emma Deakin. EMN-180726-163905001

A village pre-school manager has bid farewell to generations of youngsters, retiring after 29 years.

Families gave Karen Barry, 62, a big send-off as she is stepping down as manager of Heckington Pre-School.

Karen started out on the pre-school committee and later helped out and trained for qualifications.

She has seen youngsters grow up in the village and return as parents to new children in her care, but she said: “It has kept me young.

“The pre-school has been in four different locations during my time. Previously we started out based in the sports pavilion for just three afternoons a week, then the church rooms. We moved to a portable building in the school grounds and this is our first purpose-built building since 2010, with its own outside play area. Being close to the school and the Children’s Centre has been great. It has just evolved.”

The pre-school has over 50 children on roll, 10 highly qualified staff and is constently rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Karen will be passing the role on to her deputy, Emma Deakin who has worked there for six years. She said: “I have no qualms about leaving and I have loved every minute. It is a challenging, hard job, but so rewarding.

“Every year the goalposts move but we strive to keep up with it.”

She plans to get involved in local groups in Sleaford where she lives and is a member of William Alvey School PTA.