Tel: 07444 421917

About Us

Our lovely Pre-school is located at Hermitage Village Hall and boasts superb spaces for your child to learn, play and grow.

"Best Pre-school ever! My daughters are always happy and come back home full of stories to tell. I highly recommend it!"

Large, bright space

Large garden for outdoor play

Days out and guests to visit

Our Aims

We introduce children to the skills needed at school by learning through play. We aim:
  • to encourage children to share toys and activities and play with other children
  • to enable children to accept new situations in a safe, non-judgmental environment
  • to allow children to experiment with various materials and activities
  • to encourage the development of language skills and to build self esteem
  • to help children work things out and do things for themselves
  • to promote an environment where learning is free from prejudice and without discrimination
  • to help children develop self-discipline and respect for others

"I can highly recommend Hermitage Pre-school. My first son has sadly just left after a great time there, ready and raring for school and my second son started at the end of last term and can't wait to get back in September. The new hall is such a fantastic space to be be based in too. It is a wonderful community asset so if anyone is looking for a preschool, definitely get in touch - you won't regret it!"

Our Fees

Preschool fees are fixed by the Committee and are subject to change.

The current hourly rate is: £5.25 per hour, together with a voluntary snack charge of 50p per morning session.
Children bring a packed lunch to eat at the end of the morning session - there is no extra charge for this.
Funding is available for three year olds and some two year olds. Eligible children receive a maximum of 30 hours free entitlement per week, which can be shared with one other setting. We also accept childcare vouchers.

We sometimes have the great pleasure of hosting students from the local Mary Hare School for their work experience placements.

It is always great fun for our children to have these enthusiastic, caring young people in the setting. We were thrilled to be presented with this certificate of thanks from Mary Hare School to recognise our contribution to their potential future careers.

Our Staff

Mel Needham


I started my career as a professional dancer and performer. I ran my own successful dancing school for many years before changing career totally to work within the automotive industry. My three children attended the Pre-school and I became a committee member before deciding to seek a formal qualification in childcare. The Pre-school has been part of my life for many years and I am proud to now manage our village Pre-school with a commitment to provide young children with the best possible outcomes. I am also part of the governing board for 5 local schools.

Donna Occomore

Deputy Manager

Karla Saxon

Pre-school Assistant

I joined the Pre-school in May 2015 having worked with children since qualifying 9 years ago with a Diploma in Childcare and Education. I really enjoy working with children and helping them to develop skills ready for school and later life. In my spare time I enjoy reading, colouring, swimming and walking with my own children and dog Tucker.

Jasmine Marshall

Pre-school Assistant

I took a break from professional childcare to raise my three children, all of whom have attended the Pre-school. I came back into the sector as bank staff at the Pre-school and I am pleased to now be a permanent member of staff. I enjoy working with the children and watching them grow in their environment.

Sarah Finlay

Pre-school Assistant

I joined the pre-school in June 2021 after enrolling my little one. Previously I worked in an educational and residential setting helping young people with additional needs and severe autism. After having my own child with additional needs, my passion was to help others explore the world around them and to grow independently; having access to the resources to live, laugh and learn.

Our Committee

Hermitage Pre-school is a registered charity, run by a voluntary committee. Its positions and members are elected at the Annual General Meeting each September.

The committee meets each half term and its main responsibilities are for the employment of staff, managing fees and finances, fund-raising and ensuring the smooth running of the Pre-school.

Getting involved is a great way to meet other parents and contribute to your child’s pre-school education. If you are interested in joining the committee or have skills you would like to share with the children (e.g. music, dance, art or crafts), please let us know.

Below are details of the current committee members.

General Members:

Chloe Tomlin


Our Policies

Please click on the button below to view our Pre-school policies

Early Years Foundation Stage

Hermitage Pre-school follows the government’s mandatory Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. These government standards help to ensure that in all early years settings, children learn and develop well, are supported and valued as individuals and are also kept healthy and safe.

The framework has seven areas for learning and development and these seven areas are broken down into “Prime” and “Specific” areas.

The three “Prime” areas (which are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive) are;

Communication & Language Skills - (Listening, understanding & speaking)

Physical Development Skills - (Moving & handling, health & self-care)

Personal, Social & Emotional skills - (Self-confidence/self-awareness, managing feelings/behaviours, making relationships)

The further “Specific” areas through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied are;

Literacy - (Reading & Writing)

Mathematics - (Numbers, shape, space and measure)

Understanding the World - (People and communities, the world, technology)

Expressive Arts and Design - (Exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative)

Delivering the EYFS:

As a team here at Hermitage Pre-school, we are all very passionate about our roles and in giving the best start to the children in our care. We are committed to ensuring that:

  • We are continually working in line with the EYFS framework.

  • We are always providing challenging and enjoyable experiences for all the children in our care.

  • We are constantly delivering stimulating well-planned play and learning and development activities. (The children are very involved in the planning for this and they really enjoy inputting their ideas).

  • We recognise and respect the uniqueness of every child in the setting and that we help the children to respect differences between themselves and others through our own behaviours, diverse resources and by delivering inclusive practice.

  • We are always very kind, caring and supportive of all the children in our care and also each other as team members/colleagues.

  • We all continually develop our professional knowledge, skills and experiences and share these with our colleagues (through on/off the job training and other experiences) to ensure the setting is constantly stimulated and up to date with legislation, best practice, great ideas/techniques.

Every Child a Talker

Here at Hermitage Pre-school, we are proud to be involved with the local West Berkshire ECAT initiative.

  • ECAT began as a National Strategy that was introduced across England.

  • ECAT in West Berkshire is currently funded by the local authority.

ECAT focuses on encouraging the communication skills of young children through work with pre-school settings. The whole team working in the setting is involved in supporting ECAT and they have a lead practitioner (known as an ELLP) who attends termly cluster meetings.

Each setting that is involved in the initiative has three goals that they are working towards:

1. Identifying and supporting children who may be 'at risk of delay';

2. Developing the knowledge and skills of all of the practitioners who work within the setting;

3. Helping parents to understand the stages of development of speech and language skills and how they can encourage their child's development.

For more information and resources, please visit the West Berkshire ECAT site