A.G.N.E.S Day Nursery as it is now opened in 2006, but was formally St Agnes day nursery in Convent Lane, it closed down, after being run by the Nuns of the Convent for the previous 40 years.
A.G.N.E.S was formed by a group of parents to save the Nursery and the jobs of the staff, after the parents and staff were informed in 2004 that the nursery was to close.
A.G.N.E.S is an acronym, A GREAT NEW EXCITING START and was created by Debbie Bolton one of the founding committee members.
With out Helen Crysell who sadly passed away in 2015. We would not have a nursery at all, although very young only 23, she was the original driving force behind A.G.N.E.S. and she along with a few others spent hours and hours saving the Nursery.
You would have thought to move a Nursery to a new site was easy, but it was very hard indeed. Something we didn’t understand at the time was how BIG St Agnes was as a Nursery, as it was capable of having 56 children in each session in two classes.
We found a site off John Ray Street and got planning permission to have a temporary Nursery in Portacabins, but building regulations wanted things we just didn’t have the money for, even though we had raised £15,000 in our first fundraising year.
We eventually found homes for each class, Class one moved in to the Church Hall at the United Reformed Church in Church Street Bocking, were we still are. Class two for the older children, firstly went to a spare class room in John Bunyan Infant school for a term, then we moved again to the Braintree Rugby Club. We were then invited to the Bocking Sports Club who had a site for us to build a new Nursery, but due to the access we were unable to do this, so we moved again! This time to the Hockey Club still in Bocking we were hoping that this would be a permanent move but it was decided to down size and keep the Nursery to one mixed age class.
And this is what we are and staying as.
Our staff are almost all the same staff that were in Convent Lane.
Contact Louise Balch