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Childcare & Early Education
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Local charity, YMCA Derbyshire is excited to announce a new partnership with Derwent Stepping Stones, a local nursery and childcare provider.

The Lifelong Learning team at YMCA have been seeking to broaden their portfolio to include nursery provision. The aim of the partnership is to support families in the local community to gain access to high-quality, flexible affordable childcare at both St Marks Road and St James Centre.

Janet Holland, chief executive at Derwent Stepping Stones, commented:

“After 32 years, Derwent Stepping Stones is about to embark on the next stage of its incredible journey supporting families.

I am absolutely delighted that this next stage is being undertaken together with our long-standing voluntary sector partner, YMCA Derbyshire.

The new partnership will support long term sustainability and offer both organisations the opportunity to enhance, strengthen and further our primary objectives.

This venture will create a solid foundation for supporting local families from birth onwards. I look forward to a bright future enveloped in an ethos of passion, integrity, and ambition.”

From early October, Derwent Stepping Stones will become a wholly owned subsidiary of YMCA Derbyshire. This will see the Lifelong Learning team at YMCA support the current childcare team and offer extra expertise and guidance where required. This will see the lifelong learning team at YMCA Derbyshire and the current childcare team combining their skills and expertise in partnership to enhance the services available.

Elizabeth Fothergill, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire, commented:

“I have been privileged to be involved in the incredible work of Derwent Stepping Stones for over fifteen years after being inspired at a Business in the Community Seeing is Believing tour in 2005.

“It has been such a joy to work with so many committed passionate staff over the years and see numerous cohorts of children gain skills, confidence and make progress through their early years before embarking on their journey to school. I am also a keen supporter of YMCA Derbyshire, taking every opportunity to shine a light on the significant impact achieved by both organisations.

“The partnership between Derwent Stepping Stones and YMCA Derbyshire will create an environment that embraces innovation, enthusiasm and expertise, enabling even more to be achieved for families in Derby.

“I know there will be a new era of unbridled energy, imagination and determination to achieve even more at a time when it is needed the most. It has been an honour to have been instrumental in enabling this future and I am excited to watch as the partnership develops.”

Gillian Sewell, chief executive at YMCA Derbyshire, said:

“We have worked with DSS for over 20 years and seen first-hand the incredible work they do for their community.

When the opportunity arose to partner with them as an established quality early years provider with a Derbyshire footprint and exceptional reputation, we were very excited. YMCA Derbyshire is working to grow its early year provision in Derbyshire to both complement our Lifelong Learning services provision and add to the 6,000 YMCA childcare places across England.

Our aim is to work very closely with Janet and the team at DSS, continuing to strengthen and grow the nurseries and childcare provision locally, whilst offering them the opportunity to link into the YMCA Early Years National framework as a local provider focussed on the needs of its community”.

Any questions regarding this new partnership can be sent to [email protected]