30 hours free childcare

We are pleased to announce that from Spring 2019, the Duchy Preschool is offering 30 hours free childcare to children of working parents who are eligible for extra free early education and childcare. Find out more about the extended entitlement.


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Autumn Newsletter 2018

Dear Parents/carers

The Autumn term is now in full swing! Please take a look at our Autumn term Newsletter for updates and important information.


Duchy Preschool

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Ofsted Report – October 2018

Please click to read our latest Ofsted report

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Childcare vouchers scheme closes to new applicants

By Rachel Lawler – PLA
The government’s childcare voucher scheme has closed to new applicants.
Originally due to close in April, the scheme was kept open to new applicants until 4 October after pressure from campaign groups.
Closed to new applicants
However, despite continued efforts to keep the scheme open, no new applicants will be now able to join.
Instead, parents will be able to sign up to the tax-free childcare scheme, which launched in April earlier this year.
Those who are already receiving childcare vouchers will be able to do so as long as they continue to be employed by a company signed up to the scheme.
Tax-free childcare
Tax-free childcare is available to all eligible parents, whereas childcare vouchers are only available to eligible parents whose employers are signed up to the scheme.
However, some parents say they will lose out under the tax-free childcare scheme.
The #SaveChildcareVouchers campaign has been calling for the scheme to remain open to new applicants since January 2017. It says it will keep putting pressure on the government to re-open the scheme to new entrants.
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Use Amazon Smile when shopping online and support Duchy Preschool!

Do you shop at Amazon?

Would you like to help support Duchy Preschool and Playgroup?

All you need to do is shop at Amazon Smile.

When you shop at Amazon Smile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price to the preschool!

Click on the image below and Amazon will recognise that you’re asking them to make the donation as you shop.


Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 13.57.46

Please note, unfortunately you cannot use Amazon Smile with the Amazon App on the iPhone. However, the good news is that you can set up a shortcut to the Amazon Smile website which gives a near identical experience to the app. It’s very quick and easy to do. If you have the Amazon App installed you should remove it.


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New Ourschools App is here!

We are pleased to inform you that we have introduced a new app service to the Preschool.  This aims to make our communication with you easier, quicker and more efficient.

The app, (called ‘OurSchoolsApp’) is personalised to the Duchy Preschool and Playgroup and will allow us to keep you updated with the latest news, calendar events, school documents and links to other school information (e.g. our website and other social media channels).

If you have a smartphone (Android or iPhone) you can download OurSchoolsApp from Google Play Android or the Apple Store for FREE.

When we update OurSchoolsApp with new information or news about the preschool, a push notification will be sent to your device to inform you of this update.

OSA Social Media Graphic (1)Instructions for download


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Summer 2018 Newsletter

Hi everyone, we hope you have been enjoying the lovely weather!

Here is our latest Summer 2018 Newsletter… enjoy!

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Join us at Bradninch Christmas Fayre

The nights are starting to draw in and many of us are now getting up before the sun.  Somehow Christmas is just around the corner again and we have got a bumper Bradninch Christmas Fayre in store for you!

There is a wonderful assortment of unique artisan gifts and goods, where you will find presents for even the trickiest person to buy for. Luxury homemade fudge and cakes for those with a sweet tooth, homemade pickles for those that prefer savoury. Usborne books for the avid readers. Bethan Jones Ceramics functional, honest pots made right here in Bradninch for those who love beautiful and useful things. Wooden toys and gifts for the little and not so little ones. Handsewn cushions, paper craft and decorations. Artisan jewellery and bags for that friend who can never have enough accessories (we have all got one of those).

The children (and any adults who would like to) will meet Father Christmas and whisper in his ear what they would like for Christmas. We can all get our faces painted and this year we are having a surprise new kiddies activity.

The prize draw has some monster prizes including tickets to Exeter Chiefs, a Morrison’s hamper, a voucher from Bernaville, tea and cake for two at John Lewis and lots more. Check out our Prize Draw prizes.

Once you have made all your purchases you can enjoy a cuppa and delicious cake, catch up with friends and really get into the Christmas spirit.

Christmas Fayre

Join us for Bradninch Christmas Fayre, Sunday 3rd December 2017 at Bradninch Guildhall!

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Enter our Prize Draw and you could win big!

Here is the latest list of prizes available at the Bradninch Christmas Fayre Prize Draw.

A huge thank you to all our generous donors:


Tickets will be available to buy on the day, in advance from Duchy Preschool or contact trustees@duchypreschool.org.uk.

Posted in Events and Fundraising

Autumn Term 2017 – Welcome and Administration – November Update

A warm welcome to our new families, we hope you and your child will have a happy and positive start to the beginning of their out-of-the-home education. Parents are a child’s first teachers and what happens in their early years at home shapes the child and the adult they will become. If you have any questions or comments that you would like to share please email me bridget@duchypreschool.org.uk. We welcome all parents into playgroup and there is always an open invitation for you to come along and play.

Many thanks to everyone who volunteered and supported our coffee morning and fireworks fundraising events. Both were well supported and we made a staggering £200.00+ just at the coffee morning. As soon as we know how much the fireworks have made, we will let you know.

Bradninch Christmas Fayre takes place on Sunday 3rd December at the Guildhall, another key fundraising event for us. Please come along, enter our prize draw and volunteer if you can, we really appreciate your support.

Of all the terms, I think this is the most magical. The end of the last half-term of 2017 is too quickly approaching and we are entering our glitter phase of the year – so be warned!

We were recently contacted by a very special person, Father Christmas, who asked if our children at playgroup are amazing; naturally we told them they are! He explained that he is very busy, but this year he and his elves are extra busy. He then asked if we would have an ‘Elf Surveillance Camera’ fitted so he can see just how great our children are. So when your children come home telling you all about it – you will know what they are talking about. Of course, should you wish to ‘talk’ to Father Christmas via this camera, please feel free to do so.

Parents’ night is on Wednesday 29th November from 17:00-18:15. Please select a time slot with your child’s key worker, the sheets are on the hallway notice board. If you cannot make the evening and would prefer a day time appointment please speak to your child’s keyworker.

We will be having our Christmas celebration in the Baptist Church next month; details will be posted up in the setting nearer the time. Please remember that any photographs you take containing other children must not be posted on social media. This follows recommendations from Devon Children’s Safeguarding Team. It’s for all our children’s safety.

We will be sending out preference forms for next term, it is vital that these forms are returned as soon as possible, we need to know how many children we have in each session so we can staff it. Please return it even if you do not want to change your child’s hours. If we do not have the forms returned confirming your sessions then you may run the risk of being turned away for that session if we are under staffed. So PLEASE when the forms go out, send them back as soon as you can.

If your child does not attend playgroup, for example for sickness or holiday, please fill in an Absent Form. These are in a container on the wall in the hallway; a pen should be in there too. Or please ask a member of staff. We are required by Devon Early Years Funding to have a form for each absence.

We have been busy working with the children to make their Christmas cards for you to purchase. Hopefully you have returned your forms by now if you wish to buy anything. Thank you to everyone who purchased Tempest photographs. At the time of writing they are being delivered back to us and will be handed out as and when they arrive.

The new Parent Play rota is on the notice board and has been put in your child’s pocket. Please consider coming in to see what your child does when at playgroup, how they learn and perfect new skills all the time.

Please note we are now emailing invoices. This will not only save costs but also the small forest cut down each term at invoicing time! Please email Kasia at admin@duchypreschool.org.uk  to confirm or update your email address. Also please try to enter your surname as a reference when paying your bill so we know who has paid!

If you do not have an email address please speak to Kasia, Donna or Bridget.

Please remember to check your email inbox, spam filters etc. for our email within the first few weeks of each new term, thank you.

Thank you to everyone who has donated toys to the playgroup, the children are always excited when they see them and very very eager to play with them! We have been so lucky to have received these toys, they have given the children new play and learning experiences and that is always a good thing.

Our last day of playgroup is Thursday 15th December 2017 and we return on Tuesday 2nd January 2018. The school has an extra day off so there will not be any walking bus that day; however there will still be Out of Hours for playgroup children. Regrettably we cannot open these sessions to children who have already started school.

Can I remind everyone not to send items into playgroup in plastic bags, especially when packing the much needed spare clothes (also in lunch boxes). Plastic bags are very dangerous and our children are very precious. Should we change your child for whatever reason we will leave their clothes in a named bag in the access toilet on the window sill, away from the children.

Finally please feel free to click on the link below for a brief child development update:

Autumn Term 2017 – Child Development Update

On behalf of the Staff and Trustees I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Best Regards

Bridget Cross – Managing Supervisor

Posted in Setting News