Unfortunately all sessions for September 2024 have been taken. We are taking reservations for September 2025 and 2026. Many thanks.

About Us image
We believe that children learn best when they are actively engaged. At Pippins Preschool children are given opportunities to make sense of and develop an understanding of the world around them through hands on activities. At this enthusiastic, energetic and absorbent age we feel it is vital that children are provided with a nurturing early years environment where they can make their own choices, move freely, try new experiences and gain independence. We aim to provide a setting enriched with endless opportunities for social interaction, to be creative, sing, dance, enjoy nature and most importantly, just be children.

All play at Pippins is conducted in a safe environment under the guidance of qualified and experienced practitioners and a lovely team of assistants who are sympathetic to the care and educational needs of the children. We offer small group and individual attention and a Key Person works with each child on his / her individual development.

At Pippins we have a lovely large outside area where the children can ride bikes and scooters, play games, help in the vegetable patch and flower garden, dig, feed the birds, build dens, climb, create in the mud kitchen and hunt for bugs. Being outside is extremely important for a child’s health, development, learning and well-being so we do offer outdoor play whatever the weather.

Spaces at Pippins Preschool are limited to 18 children per session. Our small environment enables us to meet the individual needs of all the children and to properly assist them in achieving their full potential.

"There are inspirational relationships between staff and children. Children are extremely
happy and confident, and enjoy the company of staff and each other. This helps
children to have a positively high level of self confidence and self esteem." - Ofsted (2017)

Nicola Setford

Manager - SENCo

Nicola has a Foundation Degree in Early Years Care and Education and a Diploma in Leadership and Management. She also holds training in Paediatric First Aid, Food Health and Hygiene, Safeguarding and Special Educational Needs. She is also the Setting's Special Educational Needs Coordinator. She has over 15 years of experience working in Nurseries and as a Nanny in the UK and overseas.

Julie O'Neill

Deputy Manager - Leader of Learning

Julie joined the Pippins team in September 2019 as our Deputy Manager. Julie holds a BA Honours in Early Years Studies and an Early Years Teacher Status from Canterbury University. She has years of experience and knowledge at supporting children during their important foundation years, working in a School Nursery and as a Deputy Manager in a large day nursery. In her spare time Julie enjoys reading, travelling, running and looking after her grandchildren.

Rachel French

Preschool Practitioner - Early Talk Boost Co-Ordinator

Rachel has been working at Pippins since January 2017 originally as a one to one support worker and now as a full time Practitioner. Rachel has a Level 3 Qualification in Child Development, training in Paediatric First Aid, Safeguarding, Special Educational Needs and Food Safety. Rachel has years of experience working as a Nanny and in Nurseries and is a mum of two.

Sara Wilson

Preschool Practitioner

Sara joined us in January 2019 and soon became and valued and loved part of the team. Sara has worked in a Nursery before having her 3 daughters and is now ready to continue her professional development. Whilst working at Pippins Sara completed her Level 3 Early Years Qualification. In her spare time Sara enjoys being with her family and spending time in their caravan at the beach.

Donna Bringes

Preschool Assistant

Donna has been with us at Pippins since December 2014. She has completed training in Paediatric First Aid, Child Protection and Food Health and Hygiene. She is very kind and caring and the children adore her. Donna is very creative and arty and loves providing art and craft activities for the children and playing board games. Donna is very organised and keeps Pippins tidy and shipshape.

Ruby Wilson

Preschool Apprentice

Ruby joined us at Pippins in June 2022 after having completed some work experience with us. She had previously completed a qualification in Health and Social care at college and is now working towards a level 3 qualification in Early Years Care and Education. Ruby will be seen at Pippins on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. She has a lovely sweet manner with the children and they absolutely adore her. She is very creative and enjoys thinking of art and craft activities for the children. In her spare time Ruby enjoys being with her family, going to the gym and being involved in dance classes and dance productions.

The Team

All the team involved in your child’s care are kind, caring, nurturing and lots of fun. All staff, if not qualified, are highly experienced. Our team all have up to date DBS Checks, Paediatric First Aid training, Food Hygiene training and Safeguarding training. All staff regularly attend additional training courses such as Special Educational Needs courses, Literacy and Language courses and Maths and Play Therapy courses in house and from external providers to ensure we are at the leading edge of best practice, teaching and fun!

Learning and Development imageLearning and Development image
We at Pippins are committed to ensuring all our children’s skills, interests and abilities are met. Children develop quickly during their early years and the experiences they encounter between the ages of 0-5 shape their future development and learning. Through careful planning, observations and assessments we provide children with an environment enriched with opportunities for learning and developing to assist their readiness for school. Most experiences offered at Pippins are child initiated and learning develops through the children’s interests, although some of our activities are adult led to ensure a balance across the curriculum.

We track and monitor children's learning by completing termly assessments and plan activities to further their progress. At Pippins we use Tapestry, an online Learning Journal system which enables staff to upload pictures and observations of their key children for parents to view. We encourage parents to also share photos of their children taking part in activities at home.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.

A Unique Child + Positive Relationships + Enabling Environment = Learning and Development

The Early Learning Goals

There are 7 key areas of learning and development for the early years.

THE PRIME AREAS: Communication and Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development.

THE SPECIFIC AREAS: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.

To track and monitor children's progress we use guidance from the Development Matters and Birth to 5 Matters framework. These are non-statutory guidance which supports all those working in early childhood education settings to implement the requirements of The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Below you can find links to the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage 2021 and the guidance Birth to 5 Matters and Development Matters which we use at the setting to support your child's learning. 

Home topic ideas

Spring and Growing Home Learning.pdf

mini beasts for home learning.pdf

Colours Home Learning.pdf

What to expect when

For further information about what to expect in the Early Years Foundation stage, a document for parents has been published by the Department for Education which guides parents through what to expect in their child's development. This useful guide also provide ideas on how to help support your child's learning at home.


Over the years our setting has supported a number of children with additional needs and worked closely with their parents and other professionals involved.

To find our more about how we support children and their families at Pippins please visit:


Please find attached a detailed description of the intent, implementation and impact of our curriculum and pedagogy at Pippins Preschool

Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement.pdf

Ealy Talk Boost Programme imageEaly Talk Boost Programme image
At Pippins Preschool our staff have undertaken training to use Early Talk Boost. This is a targeted intervention aimed at 3-4 year old children with delayed language helping to boost their language skills to narrow the gap between them and their peers. The programme aims to accelerate children’s progress in language and communication by an average of 6 months, after a nine week intervention. The small group sessions are around 15-20 minutes long and include activities that cover the foundation skills in speech, language and communication that children need for learning and understanding new words, as well as having conversations.

If you would like to find our more please visit

Studies indicate that preschoolers do better if their parents or carers are actively involved with their preschool.

Your insights into your child are invaluable in helping the preschool team tailor their care and activities to suit your child’s individual needs. Getting to know the routines, activities, staff and other children at your child’s preschool helps you to support your child’s development and learning at home and if you feel at home at preschool, it’s more likely your child will too.

We enable parental involvement by inviting you to “Stay and Play” with your child. These sessions allow:

  • You to see your child interacting in an environment and with children who may be unfamiliar to you.
  • You to share any special skills or experiences you may have.
  • All the children to benefit from learning from a diverse group of parents and carers.
  • An increased adult child ratio.
  • Everyone to share in the fun.
Parents Stay and Play Sessions image
Forest School image
At Pippins we are working in partnership with Medway Valley Countryside to run Forest School sessions. The sessions are held in nearby woodlands and are led by a qualified Forest School practitioner and assisted by the staff at Pippins.


Term Dates 

Term dates 2022 - 2023.pdf

term dates 2023 - 2024.pdf

Term Dates 2024 -2025.pdf

Terms and Conditions

Please find the terms and conditions of attending our preschool below

Terms and Conditions Pippins Preschool September 2024.pdf

We have now allocated all of our sessions for September 2024 but if you would like to join our waiting list please contact us. Our session request list for September 2025 and 2026 is open. To avoid disappointment it is advised that you reserve a space as soon as possible. 

Pippins Preschool is open 38 weeks a year generally in line with school terms but this is not always guaranteed. It is at our discretion when we set our term dates. 

Morning session 9 am till 12:30 pm 

Afternoon session 12:30 pm till 4 pm 

Full day session 9 am till 4 pm

Please note that we have a 2 session minimum and we do not offer just morning sessions. Parents are asked to share their sessions between mornings and afternoons. 

9am – 12:30pm

3.5 hours

9am – 4pm

7 hours

12:30pm – 4pm

3.5 hours

Children aged 2




Children aged 3 - 4




We do not offer a separate 'Rising Fives' session at Pippins. Children are learning and developing skills for school and their future learning at all times throughout all sessions and during day to day activities and play. 

We accept tax free childcare vouchers and we offer the 15 hour Government funding for 3 and 4 year old children and eligible 2 year old children. All children receive the 15 funded hours the term after they turn 3 and some families may be entitled to 15 hours of funded childcare the term after their child turns 2. Some families may also be entitled to 30 hours of Government funding.

  • A child born on or between
  • Will become eligible for a free place from
  • 1st April and 31st August
  • Start of term 1, in September following their third birthday
  • 1st September and 31st December
  • Start of term 3, in January following their third birthday
  • 1st January and 31st March
  • Start of term 5, in April, following their third birthday

Charged Funding Pattern 

9am - 12.30pm

3hrs of FEE plus 30 minutes

9am - 4pm

6 hrs of FEE plus 1hr

12.30pm - 4pm 

3 hrs of FEE plus 30 minutes

Eligible Children aged 2, 3 and 4




To find out if you are eligible for the 2 year old funding or the extended funding or if you are entitled to childcare tax free credits you can visit childcarechoices.gov.uk

Please take a look at our Fees, Pricing and Funding Structure to find out more about how we deliver our funded hours. 

Fees and Funding Structure 2023.pdf

Fees and Funding Structure 2024.pdf

If you are interested in requesting a space for your little one we request that parents have visited the setting first. If you would like to arrange a viewing please give us a call on 07468 426755. Please note that in order to avoid disruption to the children's day we only offer viewings at 9.30 am and 1.30 pm. 

The General Data Protection Regulation has replaced the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and represents the biggest change to data protection law for 20 years. 

Pippins Preschool (Leybourne Chase Pre-School Ltd) is committed to protecting the rights and freedoms of individuals with respect to the processing of children's, parent’s, emergency contacts, visitor’s and staff’s personal data. The GDPR gives individuals the right to know what information is held about them. It provides a framework to ensure that personal information is handled properly. Leybourne Chase Pre-School Ltd is registered with the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) under registration reference: ZA005048 and has been registered since 13th June 2013. Certificates are on display in the hallway.

Please find attached our GPDR Privacy Notice

GDPR Privacy Notice - October 2022.pdf

At Pippins the health, safety and well-being of our children, staff and families is our number one priority. We are committed to ensuring we keep up with the latest guidance and legislation. Below you can find all of our policies and procedures.

Health and Safety

Accident and Injury Policy and Procedure - April 2023.pdf

Administration of Medicines Policy and Procedure - April 2023.pdf

Emergency Evacuation and Fire Safety Policy and Procedure - April 2023.pdf

Food Handling Policy and Procedure - April 2023.pdf

Health and Safety Policy - April 2023.pdf

Healthy Eating Policy - April 2023.pdf

Nappy Changing and Toilet Training Policy - April 2023.pdf

Outings Policy - April 2023.pdf

Sickness Policy - April 2023.pdf

Smoking Policy - April 2023.pdf

Sun Safety Policy - April 2023.pdf

Equality and Inclusion

Achieving Positive behaviour Policy - April 2023.pdf

Admissions Policy - April 2023.pdf

Equality and Inclusion Policy - April 2023.pdf

Promoting British Values - April 2023.pdf

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities - April 2023.pdf


Acceptable Use of Technology Policy - May 2023.pdf

Adults Taking Medication - April 2023.pdf

Allegations Against Staff Policy - April 2023.pdf

Arriving and Departing Policy - April 2023.pdf

Child Protection Policy -June 2022.pdf

E - Safety Policy - April 2023.pdf

Image Use Policy -April 2023.pdf

Lockdown Policy - April 2023.pdf

Missing Child Policy - April 2023.pdf

Mobile and Smart Technology Policy - October 2022.pdf

Social Media Policy - October 2022.pdf

Student, Volunteer, Parent Helper and Temporary Staff Policy - April 2023.pdf

Staff Supervision Policy - May 2023.pdf

Uncollected Child Policy - April 2023.pdf

Visitors Policy - April 2023.pdf

Whistleblowing Policy - May 2023.pdf

Curriculum and Partnership Working

Concerns and Complaints Policy - April 2023.pdf

Curriculum Policy - September 2022.pdf

Intent, Implementation and Impact Statement.pdf

Key Person Policy - April 2023.pdf

Partnership with Families Policy - April 2023.pdf

Two Year Old Check Policy and Procedure - April 2023.pdf

Working in Partnership with other Professional Policy - April 2023.pdf


Confidentiality Policy - April 2023.pdf

Recruitment and Retention Policy - May 2023.pdf

Staff Contingency Plan - May 2023.pdf

Staff Code of Conduct - May 2023.pdf

Staff Disciplinary Policy - May 2023.pdf

Staff Sickness Absence and Holiday Policy - May 2023.pdf

We have had 2 Ofsted inspections since we opened in September 2013 and were over the moon to receive a Good Grading on both occasions. 

Below you can find our 2 Ofsted reports. 

Ofsted Report September 2017.PDF

Ofsted Report January 2014.PDF

Holly Stupple

"Pippins has been an absolute gem in our young children’s lives. They are so happy to go every day (in fact they get upset on the days they don’t go!) The unique environment in such a beautiful outdoor setting has been fantastic for their wellbeing - they are always out in the fresh air connecting with the earth and nature in such a direct and powerful way - we feel it is the perfect antidote to the disconnection of modern life, with so much exposure to screens etc. Pippins has contributed massively to giving our children the idyllic childhood we wanted for them. We are so grateful to have found it!" August 2021


We are so pleased that we chose Pippins as our daughters’ pre-school and we now understand why Pippins is so highly regarded in our local community. Pippins staff have been welcoming and nurturing and have fostered our daughters’ love of the outdoors, nature and wildlife in the outside area. She has thoroughly enjoyed building relationships with both her peers and staff through games and hands on activities and we have noticed her develop skills and gain confidence in social interaction and communication in preparation for school. It has been lovely to see the wide range of activities that the children take part in through the photos on Tapestry, especially when she is too exhausted to tell us what she has been up to! Thank you to all the Pippins staff for all your hard work, it is really appreciated. We look forward to our youngest daughter enjoying the same experiences next year! - August 2021


Pippins has given my son a fabulous start to his education and helped prepare him for school. My son is autistic and all the staff have always been amazing with him and given him all the support he needs. They helped with transition meetings to ensure that his new school understand his needs and interests. I’m very grateful to Pippins for all the effort they put in to ensure he was happy and supported during his time there…thanks! - August 2021


I cannot recommend Pippins Preschool enough! From the moment my son first started, it has left like a home away from home for him. He has been nurtured and cared for to the highest degree and to see him grow and develop in such a lovely setting is wonderful to see. My son loved everyone who works there and the outdoor setting is exceptional. Lots of quality outside play year round. There is a strong focus on building well mannered and independent children and I’m very thankful for this as my son starts Reception in September. You will not find a more caring setting for your children. Highly highly recommend! - August 2021

Louise Moloney

The best decision we have ever made for both our children has been enrolling them into Pippins Preschool. You do not just join a preschool here, you join a family! A family who care for the children like they are their own. Having two children who have had speech delays, Nicola and her team have worked tirelessly to help and support us and the children with guidance, knowledge and love! We can’t thank the Pippins team enough for everything they have done for us and continue to do for all the little Pippins under their care. We wouldn’t consider anywhere else for our children’s first years in education! Louise Moloney - 16th April 2020

Rachel Holcroft

“Noah has loved attending Pippins since he was 2.5 years old and we have seen a huge improvement in his confidence and communication. The staff are nurturing and caring and have helped lay the foundations he needs in preparation for school. The setting is designed to encourage young children to enjoy the outdoors and get messy and he has thoroughly enjoyed making mud pies, friends and memories.” April 2020

Katy Jenner

"Pippins is such a friendly and inviting setting, with so much for the children to do both indoors and outside, in the lovely garden area. The staff at Pippins are amazing and really helped my little boy to settle in, as he wasn't initially keen on leaving Mummy, but his confidence has really grown in a short space of time and he now loves attending." Katy Jenner


I firstly want to thank the team at Pippens for the amazing work they do. Prior to joining Pippens; our son had been attending another nursery (he still does), so when a space came up; we made the decision for him to attend Pippens two days a week and continue with the other setting... Pippens go above and beyond, we’ve always felt comfortable leaving our son in their care, because the team always look out for each child’s needs and interest...! Our son has been very delayed with his development and they immediately picked up on this and have instigated all the support we’ve received to date; he has been supported 100%. We would highly recommend Pippens, and even more so if you want a pre-school that can cater for children with or without development needs... They are very knowledgable in terms of Senco.... Thank you again for everything that you have done for our son. X

Erica Price

Pippins Preschool came highly recommended to us, and we have been absolutely thrilled by the quality of care and teaching by Nicola and her wonderful team. Our daughter has thrived at Pippins, and especially loves the amount of outdoor learning on offer. She has become more confident, more patient and has a greater understanding of the importance of sharing and kindness amongst her peers, which will give her a great head start at school in September. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Pippins to anyone for all the reasons above, and would like to take the opportunity to thank the team at Pippins for an exceptional preschool experience. April 2020 Erica Price, mum to Millie.

Tel - 07468 426755 Email - pippinspreschool@yahoo.co.uk Address - Pippins Preschool, Beadsman Crescent, Leybourne Chase, West Malling, Kent. ME19 5FB  Company House: Leybourne Chase Pre-School Ltd Company House Number: 08375888 Company House Registered Address: 57 Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1BB