Mike Abbott, Group General Manager at The Co-operative Childcare, which operates 44 nurseries across the UK, said: “Surprisingly, this is a popular misconception, but it’s actually aspects like the proximity of your home to a primary school or if a sibling already attends that take precedence if a school is oversubscribed and not all applicants can be accepted.”

The research also found that it’s not the only worry parents face when choosing a pre-school, with almost half (48%) surveyed saying the ratio of children to teachers was an important factor when choosing a setting.

Mike continued: “We’ve done a lot of work in understanding parents’ concerns when it comes to making decisions relating to their child’s education. It’s off the back of this that we recently launched our new pre-school model in June, to help children make the transition to school, in a comfortable environment, with colleagues they know and trust.

“The move from pre-school to primary school is a really important moment in a child’s development and our programme is designed to bridge this transition as much as possible, allowing children to develop skills they’ll need when they start school in familiar pre-school surroundings. But most importantly, children have been working with our colleagues for long periods of time, and we recognise that they often inspire a certain level of confidence for children trying new things – something that’s hugely important in their pre-school years.”

To celebrate the success of the recent launch, children at The Co-operative Childcare have been working closely with authors Joel and Pippa Pixley in creative sessions to write and publish the five-book series; The Little Pioneers, to help other children’s reading skills.    

The ‘Little Pioneers’ series will help teach children across the country about The Co-operative Childcare Society DOES values (democracy, openness, equality and social responsibility). This, along with the pre-school programme that includes communication, language, maths and literacy, means toddlers can develop both academic and non-academic skills needed before they head to primary school.

As part of the pre-school programme launch in June, a brand new uniform and book bag were introduced to familiarise pupils with primary school culture. The Society also invested in balance bikes for nurseries across the chain, along with cycle lessons to help children learn how to ride a bike.

As a result of The Co-operative Childcare’s dedication to providing personalised care whilst encouraging exploration and learning, 100% of its 44 nurseries across the country have achieved a good or outstanding Ofsted rating. 

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