A Deeside playgroup is facing closure next summer.
Falling numbers have put the future of Torphins playgroup in doubt.
It provides a base for preschool children from the age of two, including a recently-introduced dedicated ‘Rising Fives’ session catering for children reaching their final preschool year.
However, without an influx of children over this year, the group says it will have no option but to close its doors.
The playgroup is a registered charity and is run by a committee of parents.
Its manager, Maryanne Middler, said: “We are obviously devastated to be even contemplating closing the playgroup next year.
“However, like a number of childcare providers in Aberdeenshire, we have found that our numbers have gradually declined over the last few years and currently there are just not enough children attending to cover the running costs.”
Despite the looming potential closure, staff and parents are remaining positive.
They say that with just a minimal increase in the number of children joining the daily sessions, there is a good chance that a shutdown can be avoided.
Jane McCallum, who has been involved with the playgroup for several years both as a parent and committee member, said: “The staff and parents of Torphins Playgroup children are a dedicated bunch and we won’t let the group go down without a fight.
“Throughout this next year we will be fundraising and running our events programme.
“The playgroup really is an absolutely invaluable resource for Aberdeenshire – as a setting for new experiences, developing life skills, fostering independence, social skills, creativity and fun for your little one, you can’t beat it.
“If you are considering early years care for your preschooler, we really hope that you will consider Torphins Playgroup.”
The playgroup has class-leading indoor and outdoor play areas dedicated to sensory learning, music activities, outdoor play, adventurous play and quiet time.
Its educational plans are all structured around the ideas and interests of the children who attend the group.
The next fundraising event is Santa’s Grotto which will be held on December 1, with craft sessions for all and festive refreshments.
For more information about the playgroup, including the annual events programme, visit the Facebook page or www.torphinsplaygroup.co.uk.