Greasby Preschool Playgroup, Merseyside
A CBC Supported conversion to a worker co-operative
The Co-operative Enterprise Hub has helped one of Merseyside’s longest running child care providers look to a more sustainable future. Originally set up by a few parents who met in the park, Greasby Preschool Playgroup is a well established business; however, its form of governance was proving unstable. It was run by a parent committee, but suffered from revolving door membership, as parents tended to move on when their children started school.
The staff began to step in to serve on the committee and soon realised they were in effect running the preschool. They decided to formalise their management of the group. In 2011 The Co-operative Enterprise Hub helped to transform the playgroup into a workers’ co-operative, with the 10 staff members jointly owning and running the business. Jean Edwards, a member, said: “We are well regarded in the community and we’ve been here for a long time. Many parents who send their children to us attended Greasby as children themselves, and some members of staff can even remember those parents. The support we received has been invaluable; we needed help with everything and had no knowledge of setting up a business.”
Funded by the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, CBC provided the playgroup with new legal and governance structure, succession and transfer of undertakings, hands on guidance on accounting systems, in addition to reviewing and advising on contracts of employment and other documents.