The Duckling Room

The Duckling Toddler Room offers children under the age of 3 years, an exciting and stimulating programme of learning opportunities in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage Programme. The Ducklings room was judged as Outstanding by Ofsted.

The well experienced and professional Staff Team provide personalised, intimate and family based care in purpose designed airy rooms that open onto extensive outdoor play areas. An exciting timetable of daily activities is planned and children play and learn, not only in their base room but also in the Movement Hall, Atrium, Cookery areas as well as going outside every day to enjoy walks and play in the gardens, play areas, woodlands and farm meadows beyond.


The Duckling Room is:

  • For toddlers under 3 years of age who are walking
  • Open 8am-6pm daily with Early Bird option from 7am
  • Open all year round (50 weeks)
  • Minimum of 7 hours daily (8am-3pm)
  • Individualised attendance patterns or full time available 2 days weekly minimum
  • Experienced, dedicated and well qualified staff team
  • Staffing ratio 1 staff to 2 or 3 children
  • Personalised Key Person for individualised care and communication
  • Excellent graduate staff and fully qualified assistants
  • Nutritious farm house meals, cooked on site daily
  • Individual dietary needs carefully catered for
  • Breakfast Club available  (at additional cost)
  • Superb range of play opportunities and activities indoors and outdoors
  • Spacious Sleep Room with full sized cots for quality sleep
  • Gymnasium, Clamber Club, Music, Cookery, Eco Club, Pet Care, Forest School and Farm Walks
  • Daily outdoor excursions around the gardens, farm and private woodlands
  • Full calendar of events (assemblies, festivals, celebrations and excursions)
  • Personalised daily liaison with parents
  • Direct Telephone service
  • Online Cloud based developmental records with many photographs and videos.

The large, airy Duckling Room is well lit, well ventilated and purpose designed to enable young children to roam and explore as they play both indoors and outdoors. The spacious Sleep Room is fully equipped with full sized cots and enables children to sleep undisturbed and yet be carefully monitored. The Department has in integral nappy changing area with miniature staircase so that children can come to master and enjoy stairs with their Key Person. Junior toilets are carefully positioned to make independent toilet training a very positive experience when children are individually ready. We also have a beautiful sensory room which our toddlers greatly enjoy.

The Duckling Rooms link into the adjacent Atrium where children enjoy singing, percussion, stories, cookery and a large interactive screen for specific learning tasks. Children also go into the large Movement Hall where many physical activities take place from gymnastics and dance to Clamber Club and Assemblies. Children in the Toddler Department are not confined to a single suite of rooms, they move around the Centre facilities indoors and outdoors and enjoy tremendous variety of activities and learning experiences each day. They also meet and play with older children who provide excellent role models for future development. They enjoy the large sand pit, fully equipped immature shepherd huts, gravity fed water system, builders yard, bike track, stig of the dump zone and a host of other outdoor activities.


Children in the Toddler Department receive loving, individualised care and are encouraged to participate in a variety of play activities designed to stimulate physical, intellectual, social and emotional development. Great emphasis is put on social skills and children’s developing language and confidence. The Toddler Department is much more than just a ‘care’ facility and when children are ready they are introduced to a wide range of sensory and craft activities s well as festival and fun times with older children who provide excellent role models.

Daily activities include song and rhyme time, reading stories, paint, glue, dough, scissors and many other stimulating educational experiences. A favourite part of the week is time in the Gym doing dance and drama with specialist teachers. They also enjoy Cookery in the Specialist Cookery Department and love exploring the woodlands and Yurt site. As children progress through a carefully planned programme of learning opportunities, close liaison with parents ensures continuity and consistency between home and Duckling Department. All staff are fully trained and enthusiastic in their delivery of the Early Years Foundation Stage Programme. Routines of sleep, feeds and toilet training are harmoniously maintained and consistent communication and feedback with parents ensures future needs and expectations are fully understood and met.

A farm house lunch is cooked daily and served on site at mid day, Drinks and nutritious snacks are served at mid morning and mid afternoon. A high tea is provided at 4.00pm. There is also a Breakfast Club which can be booked for an additional fee, The Dining Room comes under the supervision of our expert Cook and Catering team.

On arrival children and their parents/carers are welcomed by their Key Person or the Departmental Manager when important information will be shared and exchanged to ensure a smooth transition. Farewells to loved ones are fully supported for emotional wellbeing and then staff will engage children in play and learning activities where fun, laughter and learning with friends is a very important feature of each day.

Throughout the day our caring team of highly qualified and well experienced staff, offer children a stimulating range of activities suitable to their age and stage of development with the continuity and progression of care that is essential for self confidence and positive attitudes to flourish. The Department has access to an extremely wide range of equipment and facilities for play and learning activities and for the more specialised teaching of music, art, gymnastics, craft and cookery. Language acquisition and social skills are a particularly important focus in the Toddler Room and constant partnership with parents ensure that learning and development in many areas can flourish well between home and toddler care.

Children receive an extremely wide and varied curriculum. Small groups are taken on excursions such as nature walks and trips to the nearby farm or woodlands when the weather is fine. They will also enjoy attending activities in the Main Hall such as assemblies, workshops, festivals and visitors who come to talk to the children and give demonstrations. In the past children have enjoyed visits from firemen, policemen, nurses, dog trainers, musicians and magicians and lots more!



Places in the Duckling Toddler Department are booked and invoiced on a monthly basis. Online monthly payment patterns are encouraged but individualised payment options are always negotiable with our talented and flexible bursary team. Ducklings prides itself on the family atmosphere where parents are kept closely informed of each child’s progress and development. Due to the popularity of this department, early registration is advised to avoid disappointment. The centre closes for a week at Christmas and a week at Easter when parents do not pay for these weeks. Attendance patterns can be individualised but 2 days weekly are regarded as a minimum for quality relationships and consistency.

Children must be walking before they can be accepted into the Toddler Departments, because of hygiene considerations and a strong focus on outdoor activities. Every child in the Toddler Department will need a pair of wellies! Warm outdoor clothing for the winter is also essential for our regular outdoor focus and Eco Club activities.