For children aged 2 to 5 years old
Open Monday to Friday
During term time
9 am to 12 pm morning session
12 pm to 3 pm afternoon session


Our objective is to provide a safe, exciting, happy and caring environment for your child. We recognise that each child’s needs may be different; we will encourage each child’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social skills through their play and learning.


Polstead Preschool is open to every family in our community. We respect equally all children, their parents and carers irrespective of their gender, racial origin, religion, culture, language or financial status. A waiting list is operated on a first come, first served basis. Trial sessions are encouraged before registration and, if needed, after acceptance. A term’s notice is required (in writing) if leaving the Preschool or if decreasing the number of hours that your child attends. All children will be offered between 3 and 10 sessions per week.


  • We are a parent committee community preschool.
  • We provide spaces for 24 children at each session.
  • Children are eligible to attend from the age of two.
  • Our adult to child ratio is 1:4 for children under 3 years and 1:8 for 3-year-olds and older children.
  • Each child is assigned a key worker who charts the child’s progress during the course of the year.
  • Polstead Preschool is a member of the Early Years Alliance.
  • The quality of our provision is assessed by Oxfordshire County Council Early Years Department.
  • We are registered with, and inspected by, OfSTED.
  • We are a registered charity.

What does a Community Preschool mean?

The day to day running of Polstead Preschool is the responsibility of the Supervisor in cooperation with other staff. The staff are supported by the Management Committee, which new parents are encouraged to join. Parents are encouraged to come in and help out at the Preschool, be it with an art & craft activity, reading stories, playing a musical instrument or sharing their knowledge related to their profession, hobbies or cultural background. Younger siblings are welcome. Occasionally, parents may be asked to undertake jobs like to take home some washing or help to clean toys or any other jobs that may be needed.

Management Committee

Polstead Preschool is run by a Management Committee. This means that all parents are involved in its running. There are many advantages to this arrangement:

  • a parental involvement and help keep our fees low
  • we are a non profit organisation, so any income generated helps in keeping our excellent staff and providing children with suitable toys and materials
  • since all parents may help in the setting, we can all see how our children spend their mornings and get to know their friends

Involvement in the Management Committee gives parents the opportunity to decide how they want their children cared for and educated, something they would not be able to do in a private nursery or school.

What do children do at Polstead Preschool?

Time Activity
09H00 Doors Open
09H00 - 10H20 Free Play (inside and outside)
10H20 - 10H30 Tidy Up
10H30 - 10H45 Register and Group Time
10H45 - 11H15 Snack: milk or water, one fruit, one vegetable and a rice cake.
Fresh drinking water is available for the children at all times throughout the morning.
11H15 - 11H45 Outside Play and Bike Time
11H45 - 11H55 Music and Movement
11H55 - 12H00 Story time
12H00 Morning session ends
12H00 - 12H30 Lunch break
12H30 - 13H30 Letters and numbers
13H30 - 14H30 Outdoor adventure
14H30 - 14H50 Me in the World
14H50 - 15H00 Story time
15H00 Afternoon session ends

Why is play so important to children?

Polstead Preschool plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning by providing a variety of activities. The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum encourages both child and adult initiated activities that are designed to develop the child’s emerging skills through play in preparation for school. Staff and other adults encourage children by sitting alongside them so they can share and guide them through these activities.

Children learn to be strong and independent from a base of loving and secure relationships with parents and/or a Key Person. Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates and all areas of learning and development are equally important and inter-connected. Through Polstead Preschool children expand their ideas about themselves and the world they share with other people.

The Early Years Foundation Stage

A Key Person has special responsibilities for working with small numbers of children giving them the reassurance to feel safe and cared for and building relationships with their parents and carers. Assessments and judgements will be based on information from home and the Key Person’s observations of the child which will be implemented into the day-to-day planning of activities.


When you apply for a place with Polstead Preschool you will be charged a non-refundable registration fee. If your child has then been offered a place and you have decided to accept, you will be required to pay a deposit. This deposit will secure your child’s place and be refunded at the end of the child's placement. Please see our fees page for further information on fees and billing.

Children are eligible for a government grant in the funding term following their 3rd birthday. The grant provides up to 15 hours of funding per week, for 38 weeks of the year. Applications for the government grant are made through Polstead Preschool and, if approved, the funding is paid directly to Polstead. Pro-rata payments are made if fewer than 5 sessions per week are taken.

To cover costs, Polstead Preschool depends on parents agreeing to make payments for the services provided that are not included in the government funding. Invoices clearly reflect whether the charges are for funded or non-funded sessions.

Fees are billed in advance and are payable at the start of each funding term: January, April, September. Please note that fees are still payable if your child is absent. If you have difficulty paying the fees please speak to the Supervisor, as assistance may be available in individual cases.


There is a termly newsletter distributed to all parents each term. The newsletter aims to keep parents informed of committee meeting dates, themes, fundraising events, term dates and any other social events.


At Polstead Preschool we realise that people are at the centre of everything we do. We have a highly qualified, motivated and energetic team who are passionate about helping young children reach their full potential in a loving, caring and fun way. It is our core belief that by developing staff to higher qualification levels than what Ofsted requires ensures that we offer children the best chance of success.

The day-to-day running of Polstead Preschool is the responsibility of the Supervisor supported by a Deputy and Preschool Assistants. We will ensure at all times that the Supervisor is qualified to at least level 4 and that at least half of all other staff are at a minimum of level 2 qualifications.

Want to join the fun?

If you are interested in having your child attend Polstead Preschool create an account on our website and complete the on-line registration form. You will then need to pay the registration fee by bank transfer or cheque. Finally you will need to bring proof of identification for you and your child, or children if you are registering more than one child, to the Preschool.

After your payment has been received the Admissions Coordinator will contact you with a receipt along with a letter providing the status of your child on the waiting list.

Once a place becomes available for your child, the Admissions Co-ordinator will contact you.

If you have any questions you can contact the Admissions Co-ordinator via our website. You might also want to browse through our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) area to see if your question has already been addressed.