SEVEN child carers have been employed at a North-East nursery which is being inundated with demand for places by parents.

Ashfield Nursery and Early Learning Centre, at Low Fell, Gateshead, is one of the newest nurseries in the region.

But it has already had to take on six qualified nursery nurses and 16-year-old Jessica Hunt, who is studying for childcare and child development qualifications.

Within days of the nursery's £300,000 baby unit opening in autumn 2002, in Joicey Road, all but a handful of the places for children in the nursery were filled.

The staff were also needed to help cope with demand for the centre's expanding out-of-school facilities for older children.