Leeds-based family business Little People Nurseries is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. In the last three decades the family-run business has cared for over 3,000 children and trained over 200 nursery nurses across its five nursery sites.
The business was founded by Marguerite Hallas in 1989 in a converted Edwardian manor house in Stanningley, which is still a Little People nursery today. As the business grew, Marguerite was joined in the business by her husband Geoff, followed by their daughter Vicky and, more recently Vicky’s husband Gary Hallas-Fawcett.
Little People Nurseries now owns and manages five sites – four in Leeds and one in Heckmondwike, providing employment for 120 people and childcare for over 600 families.
Marguerite Hallas, founder of Little People Nurseries, said: “I’d worked in council-run nurseries but when I had my own children there was a real shortage of private nurseries in the area so I decided to start my own. On the first day, I was full of excitement about what I was going to do with my 12 children – painting, sand, water play, lots of stories to be read. Although the children had different needs, all they wanted was your time and attention, so that is what I gave them and we grew from there. Those principles still hold strong today.”
In 1998, Marguerite and Geoff’s daughter Vicky was on board for the launch of the after-school club for Little People’s second site, at Farsley Farfield Primary School, one of the first in the area. She became manager at the Farsley nursery in 2001 and then expanded the business to open Little People’s third site at Bramley in 2004. Further sites have followed in Alwoodley and Heckmondwike, which opened in 2016.
The family celebrated this weekend by throwing with a Greatest Showman-themed party for 300 customers and staff past and present at their Stanningley nursery. Local Councillors were in attendance as well as three Farsley-based businesses that have supplied Little People Nurseries for 30 years – Harvey’s Quality Family Butchers, grocer Sutcliffe’s of Farsley and Adrienne Florist.
Vicky Hallas-Fawcett, owner of Little People Nurseries, said: “It was fantastic to celebrate 30 years of the business that my mum founded with so many children, staff and parents, old and new. It is such an achievement to reach 30 years in business, and we’re so proud to have made, and be making, a difference to families lives across Leeds and Heckmondwike.
“We are grateful for the support over the past three decades from local businesses and suppliers, and members of our local communities who have helped our business to thrive. Here’s to the next 30 years.”