Maternity mayhem at nursery group

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Mum is definitely the word for staff at a Preston nursery group.

Besides looking after their young charges, staff at Small Wonders and Small Wonders Too in the city have caught the baby bug ... literally.

Nursery boss Catherine Bell is still reeling from the shock of learning that nearly half of her employees have fallen pregnant recently.

Of the 21 staff who work at the two sites, two are on maternity leave, two have just come back and four are currently expecting.

On top of that, a glut of parents have had or are expecting babies.

Mum-of-two Catherine set up Small Wonders in Hawkins Street 13 years ago, followed by Small Wonders Too in Atholl Street.

She said: "It is wonderful news, but the most I have ever had pregnant at the same time before has been two.

"Prior to that it had been a long time before we had any.

"When the first two, Emma and Becca, came to tell me I was pleasantly surprised, then when more and more came it got to the stage where I just knew when they walked into the office what they were going to say.

"It is going to take some planning the cover.

"I'm coming back full time in September to Small Wonders Too, at the moment I flit between the two. None of the girls want to take too long off. That's great because they can bring their babies with them."

Emma Ainsworth and Rebecca Glennon, from Small Wonders Too, set the trend.

Rebecca's daughter Ruby is nearly two while Emma, who already has two-year-old Chloe, is pregnant again with her second child.

Claire Fisher has just returned to Small Wonders from her maternity leave with baby Leon, now one.

Kirsty Harkness ( Small Wonders) is still on maternity leave after having baby Daniel eight moths ago while Gemma Rossall ( Small Wonders Too) is on leave with eight-week-old Olivia and Robert, aged five.

Vicky Waterhouse (Small Wonders Too) is expecting her first baby in September while Claire Morris (Small Wonders) is due to give birth in October.

Helen Hanrahan (Small Wonders) is expecting her first baby in January.

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