An entrepreneur who has worked with young children for a decade has taken the plunge, by opening her own nursery.
Joanne Ure has set up Footprints, which is located in the centre of North Shields.
The 26-year-old has been involved in the industry since leaving school, progressing through the ranks – including to nursery manager – while completing a part-time degree in Childcare through Teesside University.
Now she has created the new childcare setting on Howard Street, which she hopes will be home to up to 22 children per day.
Joanne has transformed a vacant ground-floor building – which in the 1990s was once home to Howard House Nursery – into a colourful, child-friendly environment, designed specifically to stimulate children, aged from birth to five years old.
She has been helped by North Tyneside Council’s Business Factory, the enterprise support programme designed to encourage start-ups in the borough and support existing businesses to succeed and grow.
Joanne’s ambitious plans are already coming to fruition and the nursery has been welcoming children through the door since the day it opened.
Footprints employs three members of staff and Joanne plans to increase her workforce as more children join.
Footprints is Ofsted registered and can offer fully-funded places to children aged two, three and four, as well as flexible and term-time packages.
Joanne said: “It’s early days but I am delighted by what we have been able to create and I’m pretty confident when people get to know about us and come and visit they will see what a very special place we have created where children come first, second and last.
“I had never really given much thought to running my own business as I have always enjoyed working hands on closely with the children and providing the best level of care possible.
“However, when I moved from a large nursery into a management role at a relatively small nursery, I could see that there were benefits to both settings and decided I would like to take best practice from the two to set up on my own, which is exactly what I have done with Footprints.
“I was initially looking for premises in Newcastle, but quickly realised that North Tyneside would be a great place to set up in business as there is so much help and support available through The Business Factory and the council itself.”