Change of hands for Bright Sparks pre-schools

Photo of staff standing outside the front of Brght Sparks Pre-School in Stoke Lodge.
Vicky Ashbolt (front-most), managing director at Bright Sparks pre-schools, with other members of staff outside the firm’s Stoke Lodge setting.

The Bright Sparks pre-schools in Stoke Lodge and Downend have changed hands, and plans to make the settings more flexible for local families have been revealed.

The pre-schools, which are located within the grounds of Stoke Lodge Primary School and Stanbridge Primary School respectively, will be run by new managing director Vicky Ashbolt, an expert in nursery childcare, who plans to open the settings up to more age groups and extend opening hours.

Taking over from previous owner Karen Llewellyn, Vicky intends to extend the opening hours to 8am-6pm to help working parents. The settings will cater for children from three-months to five-years and will be available year-round instead of just during term times.

Ms Ashbolt, who has worked for many years as a director at the locally based Mama Bear’s Day Nursery and Pre-School group, said:

“Bright Sparks will continue to be an independent pre-school operator and retain its independent character. We will build on the organisation’s strengths, retain the existing staff, develop and encourage talent and continue Karen’s legacy.”

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Both nurseries are currently still operating under their existing offerings but work is taking place to begin accepting children of all ages for longer days. There are also plans to be able to provide hot meals, cooked on site for the children.

Vicky continued:

“We hope to better meet the needs of local working families and their children with our new plans. The extended opening hours will benefit working parents, as will the year-round provision.”

“I would like to thank Karen for her hard work and achievements. Bright Sparks is an important contributor to the local community; it has played a key role in the lives of thousands of young children and given employment to hundreds of local workers. We look forward to steering the organisation during this next phase of its development.”

For more information about Bright Sparks, visit

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 29). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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