Toddlers back in pre-school

More than 100 toddlers are back in school while the owners of First Step Academy figure out a way to come into compliance with Planning.

First Step Academy toddlers

First Step Academy toddlers give teacher Mishelle a huge hug.
Photo: Jewel Levy

The tots were stopped from going to school at First Step Wednesday after the Central Planning Authority closed the facility.

That afternoon Planning issued an enforcement notice to the owners of First Steps at 38 Godfrey Nixon Way giving them 28 days to submit the necessary planning applications for the business.

In making the decision CPA Chairman Dalkeith Bothwell explained that Planning took into consideration the inconvenience that would be caused to parents by ordering the preschool to close while the owners submitted the required building plans and fulfilled criteria set by other government agencies.

‘We are aware that the owners of the daycare have opened without planning permission and the enforcement notice gives them adequate time to submit building plans to the department,’ he said.

Planning had closed the preschool after deciding that owner Ray Bowen had not followed proper procedures before occupying the building.

In protest of the way things were handled and the short notice the owner was given to notify parents of the closure, parents, toddlers and teachers turned up at the Planning Department offices on West Bay Road Wednesday morning.

But because Planning officials could not give them a suitable answer for their dilemma most of the parents took their children back to the school.

According to a spokesperson from the pre-school the owner was given verbal confirmation 6pm Wednesday that parents could take their toddlers to school Thursday morning.

In the meantime, the owner of the preschool is to comply with certain things to be addressed at the school.

According to a First Step Academy spokesperson, 90 per cent of toddlers were back to school on Thursday.