Marion is one of the original founders of Magpies and she is responsible for coming up with the name and establishing Magpies as a respected childcare provider with the highest standards.
These days Marion acts as a General Manager overseeing all Magpies settings.
Presently Marion is taking a break due to ill health but is hoping to get back sometime in the new year
Magpies Kidlington Limited is a company ‘Limited by Guarantee’ which means it is not-for-profit, with any surplus being put back into improving the services we provide.
The Magpies story started when the After-School Club run by the Kaleidoscope Centre was threatened with closure, leaving parents from all over Kidlington without the childcare they needed to be able to work. Marion immediately looked for ways to stop the parents being let down.
By sheer good luck Edward Feild School, where Ian was Chair of Governors, had an empty classroom they kindly made available; and Magpies was born!
A frantic amount of activity took place over the Easter holiday 2005 with an empty classroom transformed with a bright paint job and a newly fitted kitchen. With donated equipment and resources, Magpies took off immediately. Ian was successful in getting a grant from the lottery which was a huge boost for our activities including our own Bouncy Castles and subsidised trips in the summer holidays.
In February 2007 we opened our second club at West Kidlington School and in April 2008 another successful lottery bid secured our Magpies minibus opening up our service to surrounding villages.
Also during 2008 Magpies took over Kidlington Nursery Group, whose staff wanted to retire, and in September we opened Magpies Preschool. It was a pack-away setting, with not enough space, but we knew that in the New Year a new building would be ready for us to move to and that had fantastic space.
Unfortunately, the new building came with a raft of petty regulations and an astronomical rent and made us realise that we had to find something better, and in 2010 we got the fantastic news that our application for funding for a new building had been successful!
But our joy was short-lived as a funding review put the whole project in doubt.
After a lot of nail biting and campaigning our happiness was restored along with our grant. Easter 2011 our fantastic purpose built home was ready and we moved in.
In September 2013 Preschool extended its hours to provide all day care for working parents with children at Preschool and North Kidlington School.
Over Easter 2015 Kidlington Pre-School, as it was, became part of Magpies and was renamed Kidlington Playschool to reflect its past as a Play Group and Pre-School. In 2018 Playschool achieved the almost impossible OfSTED 'Good' but despite this, with Primary schools increasing the intake into early years, and the high overheads and falling numbers of those attending we were forced to close Playschool at the end of the year. All the staff and children were moved to Magpies Preschool.
We believe that Magpies is set apart because we work hard to provide childcare settings that are all- inclusive, where children want to be, and that provide the widest range of well resourced exciting opportunities for learning, development and fun. We support our staff to achieve their full potential and expect them all to train to a high level and to be enthusiastic about providing good quality secure care.