Little Learners Pre School Learning and Development is dependent on each Unique Child having opportunities to interact in Positive Relationships in Enabling Environments.

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About Us


About us

Little Learners is registered by Ofsted to care for children between 2 and 11 years of age.  At the last inspection by Ofsted, on 19 January 2018, we were judged to be “Outstanding” in all areas.

Little Learners is privately owned by Cheryl Martin.  We opened in the village hall in June 2004 and moved into our new purpose built building, designed by the owner, on 27 March 2006.

The owner, Cheryl, moved to North Yorkshire in October 2012 and although she is still very involved in the operation of Little Learners it is now managed on a full time basis by Paula Hickmott.

The Breakfast and After School Clubs were opened on 27 March 2006 and the Holiday Club (for pre-school children and those attending reception class only) started on 27 October 2008.

We are open 8am – 6pm throughout the year covering all the school holidays with an optional Holiday Club exclusively for pre-school, reception class age children and those in Year 1 provided they have attended Little Learners prior to being in Year 1. This provides continuity of care for younger children, who find pre-school holidays unsettling, and catering for those with working parents.  Occasional Holiday Club sessions can be booked for those who want to keep up with their friends or just want some fun days during the holidays.

School children are welcome to join us for Breakfast and After School Club during term time up to and including Year 6.

The location is perfect, a quiet rural setting with beautiful views of the North Downs.  The children can move between Sellindge Primary School and Little Learners safely without having to leave the school site, an absolutely ideal situation for wraparound care.

We were awarded the Kent Quality Mark in February 2010 in recognition of the high quality of care and education provided by the setting.  There were only 49 Early Years settings in Kent awarded in this year and we were extremely proud to be one of them.  We were re-accredited in October 2012 for the next 3 years.

In November 2012 we were the first pre-school setting in Kent to be awarded the Eco Schools Green Flag.  This is the highest award you can gain in this field. Following case studies and an assessment we were re-accredited for this in February 2015 and April 2017.

We were selected in October 2016 as 1 of 6 settings in Kent to work with Dr John Siraj Blatchford and Lynette Brock on a project for Education for Sustainable Development in Early Years and as part of it we received staff training and individualised input for 2 target children which fed through to the whole group. This work is ongoing with children and the setting working towards Bronze Awards for Educational Sustainable Citizenship.

Our staff are all qualified their qualifications range between Degrees in Primary Education at Level 6 to Level 4 NVQs in Care, Learning and Development, Level 3 Early Years Educator.  We have recently moved into providing training for the early year’s workforce by employing an Apprentice with a Cache level 2 in Early Years. The Supervisor has a BA in Early Years Studies and is an Early Years Professional.  All members of staff have current DBS/Enhanced Disclosures and are all trained in Paediatric First Aid, Safeguarding Children, Food Hygiene and Health and Safety. Staff regularly attend courses to continue their professional development.

We work with all primary schools that our children move on to, to offer children a smooth transition into “Big school”.  We also have links with local Child Minders.

We pride ourselves on being educational as well as a very caring setting, promoting the well-being and involvement of all the children.  We have created an environment where it is apparent that all the staff working here do so because they really want to make a difference to the lives of children and have a genuine desire to work with them and their families.

The period from birth to the end of the school reception year is described as the Early Years Foundation Stage. This is a statutory framework that early year’s settings must work to ensure that young children learn and develop whilst keeping healthy and safe.

Learning and Development is dependent on each Unique Child having opportunities to interact in Positive Relationships in Enabling Environments.


Little Learners is registered by Ofsted to care for children between 2 and 11 years of age. On our last inspection on 19 January 2018 we were judged by Ofsted as OUTSTANDING in all areas.

ECO Schools Green Flag

In November 2012, following a huge amount of work by staff and parents we are proud to have been awarded the ECO Schools Green Flag. This is the highest award you can gain in this field. Following case studies and an assessment we reaccredited in February 2015a.

Mixed Age Approach

Pre-school children are in a mixed age group removing stressful transitions from one group to another and enabling younger children to learn from older or more mature children. They also share breakfast and afterschool sessions with the school children where nurturing, sharing and co-operation is encouraged to create a family atmosphere.

Quieter children can gain confidence and improved social skills from mixing with younger children and children are less likely to display aggressive behavior or compete with others at the same stage of development. Being in a mixed age group helps children to extend skills physically, verbally and socially and encourages them to develop an appreciation of the differing needs of younger and older children. They have access to many resources that may otherwise be restricted in age-appropriate rooms.

Mixed age approach enables siblings to share a key person who will cater for the whole family’s needs so that parents work with one practitioner and only have to tell one person about family or confidential issues.

Our Aim

We aim to provide the best possible care and education for children attending Little Learners by:

  • Working in partnership with parents helping their children to learn and develop, and meeting their needs as individuals based on the characteristics of effective learning.
  • Treating all adults and children with equal care and consideration regardless of their ability, age, race, gender or religion.

As a member of Little Learners your child will:

  • Be looked after in a safe, warm and secure, stimulating and happy environment.
  • Be given generous care and attention because of our high 1:6 ratio of adults to children and our allocated Key Person system.
  • Have the opportunity to learn through play with other children and adults, taking them forward in their learning and development by building on what they already know.