Sean is King of the Castle as new nursery opens in Sunderland

A two-year-old was King of the Castle for the day when he opened Sunderland's newest nursery.

Thursday, 26th October 2017, 9:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 3:52 am
Sean Hanson and his mum, cutting the ribbon on the new Castle Kindergarten.

As the first child to sign up at Castle Kindergarten, little Sean Hanson was given the honour of cutting the ribbon, with a bit of help from mum Katie Stephenson.

The new Ofsted-approved Castle Kindergarten, based at Albany Village Primary School, provides year-round, weekday care and welcomes babies and pre-school children aged from three months.

Ruth Rutter, manager of the new Castle Kindergarten.

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The nursery, which has sister centres at Hylton Castle in Sunderland and Sacriston in Durham, welcomed its first children through its doors this month with an opening ceremony to mark the occasion.

The Castle Kindergarten team also held an opening day drop-in session, welcoming visitors and giving them the opportunity to look around the new Albany facility.

Sean’s mam Katie, who lives in Washington, said: “I am delighted that Sean has settled straight in on his first day. He loves it. I have been particularly impressed by the staff – they have been fantastic.”

Kindergarten manager Ruth Rutter said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Sean and all our new starters to our nursery.

Left to right: Ruth Rutter, Michelle Hinder, Kerry Dixon and Olivia Ayre.

“It’s exciting to see the children enjoying and interacting with the fantastic resources we have here.”

Ruth and her team of childcare practitioners have developed three individually-designed rooms for the nursery’s babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

She said: “We have designed comfortable and inviting rooms and equipped them with a range of interesting and natural materials to stimulate the children’s curiosity and develop their inquisitive nature.

“The play-based curriculum we have developed will allow each child to progress at their own pace and to follow their own interests.”

Ruth Rutter, manager of the new Castle Kindergarten.

Castle Kindergarten owners Sue Morgan and Kay Rooks said: “We are delighted that the kindergarten has opened its doors and is now providing childcare for the local community.

“The team has made our rooms look lovely - cosy and inviting - and has filled them with lots to interest the children. We are very excited about the future.”

To find out more about the new nursery visit the Castle Kindergarten Albany Facebook page or visit

Left to right: Ruth Rutter, Michelle Hinder, Kerry Dixon and Olivia Ayre.