Little Crickets Pre-school in Harrogate – We provide a happy, stimulating and secure environment for children aged from 2 to 5 years old

Welcome to Little Crickets Pre-school in Harrogate

18mths – 4 year old funded and non-funded places.
Spaces are now limited for our academic year 2023-2024.
Our 2024-2025 academic year waiting list is now open.


Little Crickets Pre-school provides a happy, stimulating and secure environment for children aged from 18mths to 5 years old. Term-time only.

We are located on the Harrogate Cricket Ground where we have a fit for purpose building with plenty of space both indoors and outdoors including our own on-site Forest School area.

If you like what you see on our website, then contact us and arrange a visit to find out more.

During the current Covid-19 restrictions we are unable to offer visits to our pre-school in person, but you can access a virtual tour to share with your child via this link:


Our Vision

To provide a welcoming and inclusive pre-school where all children feel confident to explore their naturally curious minds and are valued, loved and cared for within a stimulating environment.

About Us

Little Crickets Pre-school is a non-profit making registered charity. It is managed by a voluntary Management Board of Parents/Carers and has a paid team of qualified staff.

The Pre-school was established as ‘Harlow Hilltop Pre-school’ in 1974 and was originally situated in the ‘Green Hut’, Harlow Community Centre, Harrogate. In January 2012 it moved to its current location at Harrogate Cricket Club and changed it’s name to Little Crickets Pre-school.

We are regularly inspected by Ofsted in order to ensure that the quality of care and education we provide meets their standards. We are registered as a provider of childcare on the Early Years Register and the Childcare Register, to provide care for 2 to 5 year olds.

We work closely with our parents to provide the best in early years education.


“The staff go above and beyond their job roles to create a safe, happy and fun setting for all the children.”

"Excellent staff, lovely location and facility. Children love to go, they really thrive there. Great community, friendly atmosphere."

"Every staff member or volunteer always seem to have loads of energy and are so passionate about their job and the development of the children. They know the children so well and always have creative and fun things planned."

"Caring staff, endless enthusiasm ,commitment and fully motivated to give children the best start to life. Great family events regularly arranged as well."

"An amazing pre-school with the most wonderful staff who have supported and cared for my twins over the last 18 months. The staff - parent communication is great."

"My child used to be a shy girl, she is now loving life and her self-confidence has increased so much thanks to the wonderful staff!."

"Wonderful committed staff. Full of interesting ideas. Up-to-date with all current educational thinking. Warm loving environment. Excellent standard of Care. Going the extra mile."

"Fantastic and caring staff with great facilities and outdoor space. Both my children love/loved it. Can't recommend it enough."

"The staff are friendly, great facilities and outdoor space and the kids are so happy. They care, they teach, they involve parents, my child has been so happy there."

"My daughter has spent 2.5 years at Little Crickets and she has loved every minute of it; the staff are like second mummies to her."

"Fantastic staff and great friendly environment for my child to be in. Great links with my daughter's school too."

"Little Crickets has a lovely relaxed atmosphere."

"I love how friendly all the staff are, everyone seems like they really care about my children, and it makes it much easier to drop them off!."

"The Pre-school has a friendly, open and caring atmosphere for children, no pressure, very relaxed."

"It has such a caring staff, who are dedicated and work hard."

"Diane is brilliant with kids and parents. She has endless enthusiasm and energy for her role and is very talented at making things and getting things done. She treats the children like they are her own - what more could parents want!."

"Diane has been an outstanding key worker to my son. She is always smiling and full of energy! She clearly loves all the children and knows exactly how to talk to them; she is amazing!."

"Diane is kind and caring. She is your child's best friend making their day fun and ensuring they feel secure. She really goes the extra mile and is incredibly experienced and insightful."

"They are very supportive, friendly and give 100% to their children and families. For us they've created a year of wonderful memories."

"Not only do the have amazing facilities and outdoor outdoor space, it is run by the most caring and attentive group of ladies, some of the staff have been there for years !!! Which also says a lot!! They are always so informative giving lots of updates to go along with each child's journey along the EYFS curriculum! We can say enough about this pre school they are simply FANTASTIC!!."


Little Crickets Pre-school offers children exciting and challenging play opportunities, where the children’s natural curiosity and desire to learn will be stimulated and expanded.

Play underpins all development and learning for young children. Most children play spontaneously, although some may need adult encouragement. It is through play that they develop intellectually, creatively, physically, socially and emotionally.

Staff at the Pre-school continually observe and reflect on the children’s spontaneous play. They build on this by planning and resourcing a challenging environment, which encourages those play activities and learning experiences to develop further. These activities are both indoors and outdoors and include a balance of child-initiated and adult led play activities.

When your child joins the group they will be assigned a Key Person, who will work closely with your child to ensure that their individual needs are met. Your child’s progress is recorded in their learning journey and this is also used to plan activities that meet their needs and interests. You can look at your child’s learning journey at any time and your child’s key person is happy to discuss your child’s progress at a time convenient to you.

Little Crickets Pre-school follows the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and its principles.

This means that we appreciate the importance of the following themes:

A Unique Child – every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured.

Positive Relationships – Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

Enabling Environments – Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and carers.

Learning and Development – Children develop and learn in different ways. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

It also means that we consciously provide opportunities for children to develop in:

Prime Areas
Personal, social and emotional development
Physical development
Communication and language

Specific Areas
Understanding the world
Expressive Arts and Design

Children with special educational needs are welcome to attend the Pre-school. We have a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO), who is available to work with the child’s parents/carers and other outside agencies to meet that child’s specific needs.

If a special educational need is recognised in a child, the child’s key person and/or our Special Needs Co-ordinator will discuss our concerns with the child’s parents/carer. If parents agree, it is sometimes necessary to place the child on the special needs register as detailed in the Special Education Needs Code of Practice. This will ensure that the child is receiving the best possible care and education from the pre-school, as well as receiving support and advice from outside agencies.

Useful Information

Term Dates for Academic Year 2023/2024


The Pre-school offers the following sessions during term times:

From autumn 2020 we will be trialling an extension to our opening hours from 8.00am to 9.00am to offer a breakfast hour.

Mon:  8am – 9am  and/or  9am – 12pm  and/or  12pm – 3pm and 3-4pm

Tue:  8am – 9am  and/or  9am – 12pm  and/or  12pm – 3pm and 3-4pm

Wed:  8am – 9am  and/or  9am – 12pm  and/or  12pm – 3pm and 3-4pm

Thu:  8am – 9am  and/or  9am – 12pm  and/or  12pm – 3pm and 3-4pm

Fri:  8am – 9am  and/or  9am – 12pm  and/or  12pm – 3pm and 3-4pm

Bank Holidays:  Closed

Children attending all day or the afternoon sessions can bring a packed lunch.

Fees from Sept 2023

Little Crickets Pre-school is a non-profit making charity and we aim to keep our fees as low as we can, whilst providing high staff to child ratios and quality care for the children. The cost per 3 hour session for 18mth olds is £19.95; two year olds is £19.56 per session and the cost per 3 hour session for 3 & 4 year olds is £18.99 per session. The cost for our additional optional breakfast hour or after school club is £6.50 per day. The cost for our additional optional breakfast half hour is £3.25 per day.
We offer funded and non-funded places. Funding can also be used to cover the extra optional earlier start times of 8am or 8.30am.
There is no additional charge to funded places unless you go over your funded hours.


Read our latest news

May 2020

It’s that time of year again - preparing our children who will be starting primary school, only this year it’s very different for us at Little Crickets Pre-school.

We are usually preparing our children for their transition times, our staff team supporting our families as best they can as families prepare for their children’s move on to primary school, or moving from our Little Explorers room (2-3yrs) to our Little Detective room (3-4years) for the upcoming academic year.

We offer support as best we can to meet each families’ individual needs, such as those who are going through the process for the first time and those who like myself are going through the process for the last time and grieving as your last ‘baby’ goes to school; or parents who will be eager for schools to re-open and start their new life as ‘you again’ and not just Mum/Dad for at least the hours of 9-3 five days a week!

One thing that remains the same year-on-year is helping our children feel safe, secure and happy during this time. Whilst it is just as much an emotional time for our dedicated staff team as it is a happy one, we communicate with our local primary schools the individual personalities of who we have grown to love and care for each and every day as if they were our own.

By this time of year we have enabled our children’s natural curiosity and desire to learn so they can proudly move on to the brilliant teachers of Rossett Acre, Coppice Valley, Oatlands, St Peters, Grove Road, Pannal and Beckwithshaw schools (to name a few) to continue their learning journeys.

During this uncertain time we do not know the future of timings for school, however with all transitions the following remains the same:

Try to see things from your child’s point of view. Understanding how children see the world will help you to help them as they learn.

Let children be children. A skilled five year old grows from a busy four year old, a curious three year old, a cuddled two year old, an adventurous one year old and a communicative baby.

Be a playful companion. You can enjoy childhood with the children as well.

Feelings matter – both the children’s emotions and your own are part of any situation with young children. It is very helpful to be aware of your own moods as well as the children’s when enjoying yourself with them and during difficult moments.

Don’t expect to be perfect. Everyone does something they don’t mean sometimes. Children can be forgiving as long as we are thoughtful most of the time and are ready to say sorry when we should.

(Learning together series - Early Education 2011)

During this challenging period take each day at a time. Not only can change be a worrying time for families it is also an exciting one!

We try to remind parents that sometimes where the children are going will be a completely new environment to them. At present they may only be familiar with their current setting, or they may have been going to school as a sibling since the day they were born - we’ve had full on excitement in our household as the this is us! In September I will have one child in year 5 as another starts reception and has been wanting to join her big brother at school since she could talk, and although we will be going through as much of the grieving process of our last baby going to school we are full of excitement with what the future holds for our future life with primary schoolers - and for just two whole years only one place to drop off/pick up!

Transition strategies can help lower any anxiety in both adults and children.

Talk positively about where they are going to go. Children pick up on our emotions too and although we would encourage them to talk and name emotions they may be expressing, some children may only be aware of happy and sad right now.

Try to only inform children of the facts not using if/buts/maybes as when they ask questions this prevents upset later on when they may say “but you told me...” for example at a school with a two class intake if your child asks “Will Johnny be in my class?” You can answer with “Johnny will be at your school but they may be in (teachers name) class or in (teachers name) class but you will still see them every day at playtimes and lunchtimes to play with”.

Look at pictures of the school/teachers that your child will be seeing. Most schools now send out this information to you and at this moment in time I am aware that schools are trying everything to run things as smoothly as possible.

Focus on your child’s independent skills! Please remember that your child is soon going to be in a class of 30 children and may only have a class teacher and one teaching assistant in the classroom. Encourage your child to go to the toilet, independently wiping themselves and washing/drying their hands. Your child will be required to dress/undress themselves for PE and zip their own coat up. Your child will also need to be able to use a knife and fork correctly to feed themselves their lunch.

Read read read! Your child needs to be able to focus for a short time, read stories to your child daily and ask them questions about what they can see in the pictures, can they tell you what they think may happen next or how the characters might feel? Can they suggest a different ending for the story?

Talk talk talk or use other communication tools your child uses. Just like the reading giving your child plenty of opportunities to talk about what you are doing, during board games taking turns and building on your child’s listening and attention skills required at school when playing with their friends in the playground or listening to the class teacher.

Finally talk to us, we may be currently only open for key worker families but we are still here to answer any questions via telephone or email do not hesitate to get in contact. Your chosen school may have also already reached out to you with contact details if you need to discuss anything if further detail prior to your child starting school.

For further ideas and resources to support school transitions please click on the links below

Written by Rebecca Vass - Pre-school Manager



Contact Us

Address: Harrogate Cricket Club Grounds, St George’s Road, Harrogate, HG2 9BP

Opening Times
Monday – Friday: 8am till 16:00pm
Closed Weekends & Bank Holidays

© Little Crickets Pre-school

Company Number: 06699016