The Heckmondwike Salvation Army preschool marked the end of term and the start of a new chapter in early years provision by laying on face-painting, carnival games and a 27-foot bouncy castle for the community. The Salvation Army began offering early years provision in 1978 with a parent-and-toddler group, then a playgroup run by volunteers before developing an Ofsted registered preschool in 1993. After recent changes to improve its provision, the preschool is relaunching as Noah’s Ark for its new term in September. The name has been chosen to represent a place of safety and security, taken from the Bible story about people and animal being rescued in an ark from a flood. Major Sharen Furlong, church leader, said “Since we began back in 1978 there have many changes and challenges but we are thrilled that our preschool can offer local children the best possible care and attention so that they can progress in all areas of their early years development. We want their time with us to be a positive and happy experience and today’s launch was about celebrating what has already been and what is to come in the future.” Lieut-Colonel Lynn Highton, who co-leads The Salvation Army in the Yorkshire North with Tees Division, said: “I am thrilled with the progress the preschool has made over the last year and today’s relaunch marks a new start for staff, children and their families. The dedicated group of staff provide the highest standard of childcare to local people under the guidance of The Salvation Army’s national network and expertise and I am confident that it will continue to go from strength to strength in the future.” For applications for preschool places from September 2016, please contact Noah’s Ark Preschool on 01924 408714 [WHO TO SPEAK TO?]. For more information about the church’s activities and forthcoming events, check Facebook for ‘Heckmondwike Salvation Army’, visit the church at Barrack Street, Heckmondwike WF16 0EJ or contact Major Sharen Furlong on 01924 402990.