Preschool 'special in people's hearts' to close after more than 30 years

Pupil at Rainbow Preschool in Ely

Rainbow Preschool in Ely will close its doors for the final time at the end of July after more than 30 years. - Credit: Rainbow Preschool

A preschool which will close its doors after more than 30 years says it is “heart-breaking for everyone involved”. 

Rainbow Preschool in Ely, which takes care of 30 children aged from two-and-a-half to four-years-old, will shut at the end of July. 

In a statement, the preschool’s committee said: “Over the years, Rainbow has tried to adapt and adjust to meet the needs of families.   

“However, there has been a growing demand for wraparound care and a trend for parents to send their children to feeder pre-schools.   

“These are things that sadly Rainbow cannot offer.” 

Pupils at Rainbow Preschool in Ely

Rainbow Preschool in Ely will close its doors at the end of July after more than 30 years. - Credit: Rainbow Preschool

Six staff members will also be made redundant due to the closure. 

The preschool said the decision to close has “definitely not been taken lightly and has been heart-breaking for everyone involved.” 

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It added: “A huge thanks to everybody for their kindness and all their support over the years.” 

Rainbow Preschool, based at The Old Clinic on Downham Road, was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted following an inspection last year

Staff and pupils at Rainbow Preschool in Ely

Rainbow Preschool was rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted in 2016. - Credit: Archant

But the intake of pupils has been slipping as demand for all-day care, including breakfast and after-school clubs, has risen. 

A spokesperson for Rainbow Preschool said: “We have been fighting against the trend for longer hours, which is something we cannot offer. 

“We are not attached to a school, but the nature of the building means we cannot offer wraparound care.” 

Many parents have been reacting to the closure on the preschool’s Facebook page. 

One parent wrote: “My two thrived under your love and care." 

Another parent said that they are “completely heartbroken, but so, so thankful to Rainbow and the amazing staff”, while one simply said she has “so many happy memories working here”. 

Pupils at Rainbow Preschool in Ely

Rainbow Preschool in Ely will close its doors at the end of July after more than 30 years. - Credit: Rainbow Preschool

But despite the preschool closing, the happy memories it has provided to both staff and children will never fade. 

“Rainbow is special in people’s hearts and we want people to celebrate their memories of the school,” the Rainbow spokesperson added. 

“Most staff have been here longer than 10 years, some 20 years and I think staff gave extraordinarily good care and went out of their way to do so. 

“It’s a big loss to Ely.”