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Carmel Caterpillars Pre-School

We are a long established community Pre School

with a friendly, family atmosphere

A very high Child/staff ratio

With fully qualified, enthusiastic and motivated staff

Good Ofsted report 

Free for 2 , 3/4 year old and Extended 30 hour funding available

Lunch sessions

30 min weekly French lessons available - on hold at present under Covid19 Government Guidelines 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Mrs Louise Leppenwell
Contact Position
Pre-school Manager
07946 547347

Where to go

Carmel Hall
Ufton Lane
ME10 1JB

Close to the town centre and

we feed many local schools, our

largest being The Oaks Primary


When is it on?

When is childcare available
Term Time Only
Carescheme Age Range:
2 year(s), 3 month(s) to 4 year(s), month(s)
Opening Times
Opening Times
DayOpening TimeClosing Time
Tuesday 09:15 14:45
Wednesday 09:15 14:45
Thursday 09:15 14:45
Friday 09:15 14:45

Other Details

Table of costs
Table of costs
AmountCost Type
£13.00 Per session
ECD Type
Offers pickups
Cost details
£2 per day for fruit/snacks and £2.50 per day for lunch supervision
3-4 Year Old Funding?
2 Year Old Funding?
Total vacancies
Vacancies Details
We currently have limited vacancies for 2 year olds, 3 year olds and 4 year olds
Immediate vacancies?
Contact Provider for Vacancy Details?
Vacancy range
Vacancy Range
Start AgeEnd AgePlaces
2 4 7
Vacancy Information Last updated Date
Music, Literacy and Numeracy, Messy Play Area, Cookery, Toys/dolls, Dressing Up, Outdoor Activities, Themed Sessions, Environmental Area, Trampoline, Parks/playgrounds, Puppets, Water Play, Games / Puzzles, Visits and Outings, Garden, Sandpit, Arts And Crafts, Healthy Living, Woodwork, Books, Sign Language / Makaton, Bike, Kitchen, Soft Play Area, Songs, Library - Book Trolley, Slide, Climbing Frame, Library Visits
Languages Spoken:
Wheelchair Access

Ofsted Information

Ofsted URN
Link to latest ofsted inspection report 

30 Hours Extended Entitlement

Registered to provide up to 30 hours entitlement
30 Hours Partner Details (These are details of any other childcare provider(s) that this provider will work with to offer the 30 hours entitlement)

Currently being offered to the first 5 parents that apply.

We can provide up to 22 hours extended entitlement due to

hall availability, the remaining 8 hours can be taken at

another provider if required. 

Service status


Local Offer


Carmel Caterpillars Pre-school has had experience with working and supporting children with additional and special needs for over 20 years.  This includes speech and language, ADHD, Autism and Aspergers.  We have a dedicated SENCO, assistant SENCO and a team of qualified staff that all have experience of supporting children with these needs.

We have an excellant reputation for working alongside outside Agencies and are well known in the local community for supporting chilgren and parents with these needs.  As a result of this, children have been placed within our Setting following referrals from appropriate Agencies.

We have policies in place which are designed to support children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND).  We utilise the SEN Inclusion Fund and Disability Access Fund to deliver effective support and make this information available to our parents, to assist with choosing the right setting for their child with SEND.


Special Needs Support

Parents complete a Registration form and All about me form for their child, they also come in for a chat and look around and attend a few play visits at our Setting.  We also offer a home visit to discuss your child's individual needs.  We assess starting points and then do a 2 year progress check to identify progress and a starting point for your child's keyperson.

Next steps are used to move your child forward and we then use gathered observations and information to progress to a Targeted Plan and then an Individual Personalised Plan.

Our SENCO is Helen Bailey - she ensures children and families have the best support and resources available to help with the development of your child.

Carmel Caterpillars uses the Keyperson approach, this includes:

  • Parents involvement
  • Daily informal chats
  • Opportunities for meetings at parents request at any time
  • Detailed Learning Journeys
  • Collaboration with you, the parent with any additional planning that we may put in place. Eg Speech & Language programmes, Targeted and Individual Plans
  • An Annual consultation to review the whole years progression
  • Parent feedback form at the end of year, which we use to reflect on our Pre-school

We understand that each child is unique and learns and develops at their own pace.  We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage working closely in the 3 Prime Area and 4 Specific Areas.

Communication & Language

We provide a language rich environment that meets the needs of your child which may include the following:

  • Makaton
  • Visual representation
  • Working closely with parents whose first language is not English
  • Working alongside any Speech & Language programmes put in place
  • Targeted small groups/Individual activities
  • We also try to provide ideas and resources for children to use at home

Personal, Social, Emotional

  • Follow advice/support from any Specialist Provision involved
  • Attend workshops to gain better understanding and feedback to other Practitioners
  • Individual/targeted activities to promote wellbeing and development

Physical Development

  • Ramps at entrance of building to make premises accessible to all
  • Garden accessible via ramp or entrance to building, Disabled toilet allows inclusivity
  • Space in hall can be configured to allow wheelchair access if and when required
  • Advice and links with Specialist Therapists acted on
  • Dietary requirements are always taken in to consideration and provided for when required

4 Specific Areas

Literacy - Adapt our resources depending on the requirements of the child. E.g. Audio Books, Braille etc.

Mathematics - Use every day objects to allow all children the opportunity to enjoy maths

Knowledge and Understanding - Resources to reflect all aspects of disabilities

Expressive Arts & Design - Adapt work area to make it inclusive to all children  




Our teaching starts with the planning of the environment to give all the children the opportunity to listen and give attention and full involvement to their learning. The large open space in the hall has natural light and allows all children to be able to move around freely and access all activities and resources.  This environment is also adaptable to meet the needs of your child.

The hall is set out in areas of learning using carpets, cushions, blankets, chairs, tables and storage units which all assist in minimising noise.  We have a small room which we use for small group activities.  We have a fully accessible outside area, which is used as freeflow play on a daily basis.


To enhance our effective teaching and learning we provide a wide range of resources to support the children's development at all levels.  Our SENCO works with all the keypersons to ensure that any specialist equipment is obtained if necessary.  Where children are receiving support from outside agencies, the SENCO may be able to obtain extra funding for staff training, extra staff cover and resources.

Teaching Strategies

All our staff are trained in Early Years practice and some have received training in supporting additional needs as well as basic Makaton.  We have a comprehensive SEND policy in place that all staff are aware of and know how to support children and parents at Universal, targeted and personalised levels.  The areas of need are identified in the SEND code of practise and comprise of the following:

  • Communication and Interaction
  • Cognition and Learning
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
  • Physical/Sensory difficulties 

In accordance with our SEND policy we follow the graduated approach.  If your child is not progressing as well as expected through the targeted Next Steps, with your consent, the SENCO may refer your child to outside services such as Speech and Language Therapy.  If this additional support is put in place your child's plan will then be changed to a Personalised one. 

If required and with your consent, your child will be referred to the Specialist Teaching and Learning Service through the local inclusion team forum (LIFT) meeting, which is held 6 times a year.  If the referral is accepted a Specialist Teacher will visit your child at Pre-school to provide additional advise, guidance and support.  They may also make referrals to other agencies and will also assist your child's transition in to school.  Throughout all these stages you will be consulted and fully informed.

Staff regularly attend training and can at anytime access more specialised training to support the individual needs of your child. 

Each child is allocated a keyperson who is responsible for monitoring, guiding and supporting the physical and emotional development of your child.  This is especially important when children have special or additional educational needs.  Parents are invited and encouraged to see their child's learning journey at anytime and to discuss their child's progress or talk about any areas of concern at anytime.  We also hold a formal parent/keyperson consultation once a year in June to discuss their child's development, transitions to school and their Early Years Foundation Stage profile.  

We aim to have your child's progress check at age 2 completed within their first 2 weeks of them starting at Pre-school.  This gives the keyperson an opportunity to assess your child's starting points and set targeted plans to move them forward in their development.  This check will enable us to highlight any areas of concern or delay in their development.  A copy is taken for our records and we ask that you pass the original on to your child's Health Visitor, where you can discuss any concerns with them.   

We have an inclusive policy within Pre-school which enables all children to participate in all activities.  No child will be excluded on any grounds.  Any activities or outings planned will be adapted to ensure the needs of your child are met.  These outings include regular trips to our local park, in to town and to a local retirement home.  We also have a yearly Pre-school Summer outing with all staff, children and parents.  

All venues are risk assessed and where required additional parents and Committee Members will accompany staff to ensure all children's needs are met. 

The Setting is on one floor with ramp access up to and in to the front of the hall.  We have a portable ramp to allow access through the garden and in to the hall.  The open play environment is adaptable to ensure ease of movement throughout and the garden is on one level.  A disabled toilet with a wide door and hand rails is accessible at the entrance to the hall.  We do have access to an onsite car park which has a disabled parking space, this may be available for drop off and collection of your child.  On road parking outside of the hall is available, however this can be busy. 

Keypersons will complete the Early Years Foundation Stage profile and pass this on to the new school, with your consent.  All schools are invited in to meet your child and their keyperson.  This is an opportunity for the keyperson to pass on any information regarding their needs, development and any other concerns you may have.  Many schools offer visits leading up to your child starting with them.  Your child will be encouraged to learn skills e.g.

  • getting dressed for PE
  • eating lunch and opening food items/packages
  • sitting on a carpet for an appropriate length of time
  • taking home reading books
  • toileting independently
  • putting on/taking off coats and shoes

Any other relevant paperwork or information will be passed on to the school with your consent.

We constantly reveiw, reflect and assess our effectiveness through:

  • Staff Meetings - where all staff have the opportunity to discuss areas of concern in a confidential environment, including SEND
  • Reviews of policies and procedures - to include any relevant updates, new legislation at least once a year
  • Feedback forms and parent suggestions - to reflect on our practice
  • Regular discussions between parent, keyperson and SENCO - to keep everyone up to date
  • Opportunites at LIFT meetings to discuss children
  • Any outside agencies to be involved
  • Staff attending training - feedback passed on to all staff to ensure continuation of learning 

Louise Leppenwell - Manager

Jo Redsell - Deputy Manager & Administrator

Vicky Trinkwon - SENCO

Natalie Barden - Assistant SENCO


Copies of our Policies are currently being uploaded onto our Website Paper copies are always available to be seen at the Pre-school.  Our Complaints Procedure is displayed on our Notice Board in the Porch.

Feedback is always welcome and can be given in the following ways:

  • Verbally via our open door policy
  • Suggestion box on the table in the Porch
  • Termly Newsletter slip
  • By phone, text or email
  • Annual parents feedback form                                                                                                                                                                                    

We encourage and welcome constructed feedback as this enables us to relfect and improve our practice and how it is delivered.

The majority of our existing children and those on our waiting list are from recommendations from previous parents.  We have a small waiting list for the next 2 years intake.  We have extended families and siblings joining us regularly.  We have Parents, Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles that recommend us even though their children left us years ago.


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