About Us

Blackberry Lane Pre-School

Blackberry Lane Pre-school began life in 1978, and moved to its current purpose-built site at Cowes Primary School in 1990.

The setting contains three large playrooms and a secure outside play area.

The building forms part of Cowes Primary School's Early Years Foundation unit. The primary school's Reception classes adjoin the pre-school's rooms and playground.

A maximum number of 50 children can attend at any one time.


The pre-school managers are Debbie Gibson (Manager) and Val Davis (Deputy Manager).

With 12 staff members who work directly with the children, the pre-school has a high adult to child ratio. We have a key-person system whereby each member of staff has a group of children for whom she/he is particularly responsible.

We are proud that most of our staff members have been with us for many years. We believe that the children and the pre-school as a whole benefit greatly from our staff's professionalism and experience.

Blackberry Lane Nursery

Our Nursery opened in September 2016 as a temporary setting located within the pre-school, and moved to the brand new purpose-built building at Cowes Enterprise College. The Nursery shares the same manager as the Pre-School, but day-to-day supervision is managed by Kim Goldsmith.

There are a further 10 members of staff who work directly with the children. All children are allocated a key person as at Pre-School.

Nursery and Pre-School Fees

Fees are £4.60 per hour for under two-year-olds £4.20 per hour for two-year-olds, and £3.80 per hour for children aged three years and upwards.

All three-year-olds are now eligible for government-funded grants. Their fees are paid for up to 15 hours per week, for 38 weeks per year, to be used over a minimum of 3 days. This takes effect from the beginning of the term after their third birthday. Any additional hours are charged at normal pre-school rate. From Sept 2017 eligible families can access a further 15 hours funding - see link below for more details.

We are also able to offer funded sessions for two-year-olds whose families meet the eligibility criteria. See link below for more details:

Early Years Funding

Childcare funding info at ChildcareChoices.gov.uk

More details of sessions and prices are on our
Attending page

Or click to download a pdf copy of:
the Pre-School Price List and Sessions
the Nursery Price List and Sessions
in a separate window.


The pre-school and nursery are registered with Companies House as Blackberry Lane Pre-School. It is a limited company run by a Board of Directors made up of staff and parents of children attending the pre-school or nursery.

The Board of Directors is responsible for:

  • Managing the pre-school's finances
  • Employing and managing the staff
  • Making sure that the pre-school has - and works to - policies which help it to provide a high-quality service
  • Making sure that the pre-school works in partnership with the children's parents

Directors are elected each November at the Annual General Meeting.


The Directors and staff work together to adopt and annually review the pre-school's policies. This ensures that the pre-school provides a quality service for its members and the local community.

Hard copies of our policies are available on request, or you can download them as PDF files by clicking the links below.

Administering Medicines
Children's Rights and Entitlements
Confidentiality and Client Access to Records
Employment - Safer Recruitment
Health & Safety General Standards
Information Sharing
Intimate Care
Looked After Children
Making a Complaint
Missing Child
Online Safety
Promoting Positive Behaviour
Student Placements
Supervision of Children on Outings and Visits Uncollected Child

pre-school entrance

The entrance to the pre-school


Craft activity


'Free play' session

Big room

The larger of the indoor rooms


One of the outdoor play areas

Smaller room

The smaller of the indoor rooms

children playing

Creative play with shapes

Chinese New Year project

Chinese New Year project

girl colouring

'Free play' session

magnifying glass

Learning about magnification

learning about food

Learning about healthy food choices

winter art project

Winter art project