Welcome to Stickleberries

 Stickleberries is a family business run by Sandra Wellstead and Portia Hannam. Offering a home-from-home environment where we encourage development through exciting experiences and opportunities, we care for children aged 3 months to 11 years.

Stickleberries is situated in the beautiful village of Winterborne Stickland, offering multiple sessions to meet parents needs. With a highly experienced and qualified staff, Stickleberries delivers education through the Early Years Curriculum & is OFSTED registered.

 Excellent childcare is vital for you and your child and at Stickleberries we lay down the foundations so when your child leaves our pre-school to go to ‘big’ school they leave happy, educated, independent, confident and equipped for their next big step!

Stickleberries gains great satisfaction in the knowledge that we have given hundreds of children the best possible start in life.

At Stickleberries we have time for the things that really matter to you and your child.

General Information…

Meals and Snacks  

You must provide your child with a packed lunch either cold or something we can warm up and we advise you to include a cool pack, particularly in warmer weather.  Regular snacks and drinks are provided throughout the day and water is always available.


We will provide drinks and snacks throughout the day, changing items such as wipes and nappy sacks, cots, bedding, pushchairs and highchairs.  Parents are required to leave a changing bag containing: nappies, a change of clothes, dummies, comfort items, lunch (cold or something to be warmed up) and bottles including expressed breast milk or formula (which will be refrigerated on arrival) and a warm coat/snowsuit for outdoors.

Clothing and Footwear

All children should bring a change of clothes, Wellington boots, a warm coat and slippers or a comfortable pair of indoor shoes.  Sunhats and sun cream should be provided in warmer weather.


When your child gets to 18months we do have a uniform which consists of a grey polo shirt, grey t-shirts, purple V-neck sweatshirt, purple cardigans, and a black or purple fleece.  Please go online to PMG school wear and select Stickleberries day nursery to order your uniform. This is only compulsory for our Preschool aged children.

 Pick-Ups and Drop offs

Anybody who is unable to get to Stickleberries for 9am or 3pm we are offering a service where we pick up or drop off Stickleberries children to/from local villages.

 Programme information

Full details of planning are provided on the Parents’ Notice Board outside each room.  Although we endeavor to follow the planned programme as closely as possible, we reserve the right to vary activities to suit the needs of the children and to allow for spontaneous learning opportunities.


We aim to provide a stimulating environment in which children develop self-discipline and self-esteem. We believe in working towards managing behaviour rather than the discipline of a child.  Full details or a copy of our behaviour policy is available on request.


Places will be allocated each half term and holiday period, usually on a first come first served basis.  However, priority will be given to:
a) Children who attend Stickleberries regularly

  1. b) Siblings of children already attending
    c) Children who attend local/rural schools

Registration and Booking

All children must be registered with Stickleberries before attending.  Registration, Medical and Consent Forms are provided and should be completed and returned to Stickleberries before your child starts with us. Booking forms are provided every 8 weeks. Please ensure you complete and return these promptly as we use them to allocate places and therefore secure the sessions you require. Please inform Stickleberries immediately if contact or medical information changes. To cancel your contract with us, please put this in writing a month before leaving. Should you leave without providing one months’ notice, a charge will be applied for any remaining sessions and/or a fee for one months usual spend.


Fees for each 8-week block will be calculated and divided in half to pay at the end of the 4th and 8th week. Additional sessions from the previous 8 weeks will be added to the 1st payment of the following 8 weeks.  We regret that we are unable to refund fees paid for any sessions not attended, including cancelled sessions, we also do not swap sessions.  Payment not received by its due date will be charged at a daily rate of £5.00 unless arrangements have been discussed with either managers.

Booking forms submitted after the stipulated deadline, will incur a £10 admin charge, along with any changes made due to errors made on your booking form after submission. We will always give ample notice and frequent reminders to submit your booking form on time.

We charge a small daily fee of 75p per child (including funded children) which contributes to the costs of healthy snacks and resources for the nursery.


Children will only be allowed to leave the premises with those persons named on the registration form unless prior consent is given, where we ask for a password to be given on collection.

Equal Opportunities

All children are treated with equal concern regardless of their religious persuasion, racial origin, cultural or linguistic backgrounds, sex and ability.  A detailed policy is available on request.

Safeguarding Children

All staff at Stickleberries have been vetted in accordance with OFSTED guidelines.  Volunteers will not be used unless they have DBS clearance.  Staff are trained to recognise the symptoms of possible neglect and abuse.  The child’s welfare is always our primary concern.  A copy of our full policy is available on request.

Special Needs

Stickleberries aims to operate with regard to the Dfee Code of Practice on the identification and assessment of Special Educational Needs, and welcomes children with special needs. A consultation with parents and any professional body will be arranged to ensure that we are able to meet the child’s individual needs.

Parental Involvement

We actively encourage parents to provide any comments or suggestions that may help us to improve our provision or service. We will share information with parents about their children on a regular basis.  Observations and photographs are taken of the children as evidence of learning and progression.  This information is available to parents at any time.

Health and Safety, Illness, Accidents and Medication

Children should not attend Stickleberries if they are unwell.  Should your child become ill whilst at Stickleberries the parents or carers will be contacted as soon as possible and required to collect their child. 

Should a child fall seriously ill or suffer an accident whilst at Stickleberries, every effort will be made to contact the parents and the child’s doctor.  However, if contact is not possible, we reserve the right to take whatever action we deem necessary.  Any accidents that occur to a child are recorded in the accident book and the parents sign and get given a duplicate. All our full time staff hold valid first aid certificates or will be undertaking the relevant training. 

If a child requires medication (prescription or otherwise) to be administered by Stickleberries staff, a form will need to be completed and signed by the parent or carer. 

Stickleberries strive to provide a safe and secure environment for your child.  Risk Assessments have been carried out in every area (inside and outside the building) and checks are made on a regular basis to minimise potential hazards.   A copy of our full policies on all the above is available on request.

Complaints Procedure

We hope that you will feel part of a team and that you will tell us if we fail in any way to meet our aims and objectives.  If you are uneasy about any aspect of Stickleberries, please feel free to talk over your worries and anxieties with ourselves Sandra and Portia or the room supervisors.  We hope to give a warm welcome to all children, their families and friends. We believe that everyone in the group is entitled to courtesy and respect.  Full details of our policy are available on request.

Key worker system

Your child will be allocated a ‘key person’ to help them settle into Stickleberries.  This ‘key person’ will build a special relationship with your child and help to meet their needs whilst they are in our care.  They will offer security, reassurance and continuity (they will often be the one to feed, change and soothe your child) and are in the best position to understand individual needs.  The ‘key person’ will be someone for you to share information with about your child’s time with us and assist in your child’s transition as they move up through the age groups.

Once your child reaches the appropriate age they will make a seamless transition into early year’s development and pre-school education.  This continuity of care will allow your child to build relationships with adults they can trust and feel comfortable with and form ongoing friendships and bonds with other children.


Here at Stickleberries, education is paramount. How each child learns is surprisingly different.

At Stickleberries your child can explore the delights of being a child whilst discovering that learning for life is fun and fascinating.

Our aim at Stickleberries is to provide an ideal environment for your child to grow and develop in an atmosphere of warmth, security and care.  In this safe environment your child will flourish and will be encouraged to learn through play and given every opportunity to reach their full potential at their own pace.

Weekly planning ensures we meet the individual development needs of each child and closely follow the government guidelines for the Early Years Foundation Stage. We have designed our curriculum to focus on both early years’ educational needs and individual learning styles. 

We understand the importance of a healthy balance between adult led activities and child-initiated play. Our playrooms layouts encourages children to indulge in a range of self-directed or group activities and we organise our education around the seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.  These areas are:

Prime Areas

Children begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences and run through and support learning in all other areas. The Prime Areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS. The three Prime Areas are:

  • Personal Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development

 Specific Areas

Include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas and provide important contexts for learning. The four Specific Areas are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design


The Blueberry room has a large play area, changing area, messy play area and a separate sleep room so we can accommodate the varied routines of different children. We also have access to a small courtyard that we share with Raspberries, as well as the larger playground to really stretch our legs and explore. Our objective is to provide the highest standard of baby care with a focus on individual interaction and stimulation.

 In the Blueberry room we use lots of holistic, sensory and messy play. We do lots of singing, stories and sounds to encourage babbling and talking, providing stimulation through ICT toys, soft toys and rattles to encourage movement such as rolling.


Children are moved from the Blueberry room to the Raspberry room at around 18months. When you are little, every day is a learning experience and at Stickleberries we make those experiences magical, memorable and fun!

In the Raspberries we will help your child with toilet training and extend the holistic play by introducing new topics, targets and media.

At the ages of 2-3, developing your child’s communication is vital and we do this through introducing imaginative role play, storytelling, flash cards, singing, music time and encouraging new words and experiences.


In the Strawberry room we really concentrate on getting your child ready for school and reaching to the best of their abilities.

We have topic-based themes to teach your child about new experiences whilst incorporating each child’s individual needs and interests.

Children are encouraged to use their imaginative skills to learn. We introduce letters and sounds, numbers and shapes as well as teaching basic writing skills, independence i.e. getting ready for Physical education to prepare them for the next big step to school.

At the end of their preschool education we hold a graduation ceremony where your child receives a graduation certificate and his or her learning journey, which celebrates all the amazing things they have achieved from the day they started Stickleberries to their graduation day.

 Free Early Learning and childcare places for

2, 3 and 4 year old’s

Dorset County Council provides free early learning and childcare places for all three and four year old’s children within Dorset. This funding begins the term following your child’s third birthday.

Dorset county council have now introduced free spaces for 2 year old providing they meet certain criteria. Please ask for more information.

What do I have to do?

You will need to fill out a Parent Declaration form at the beginning of each new term. This allows us at Stickleberries to claim the funding for your free place. If your child attends two settings, the funding will be split between the settings. You must ensure that you include all the settings your child attends on your Parent Declaration Form.

When can my child have a free place?    

If your child is born between: They are eligible for a free place from:
1 April and 31 August 1 September following their third birthday until statutory school age
1 September and 31 December 1 January following their third birthday until statutory school age
1 January and 31 March  1 April following their third birthday until statutory school age


This will continue until your child starts full-time education.              

 How can I find out more?      

Stickleberries is registered to receive nursery education funding under Dorset’s Early Years Development and Childcare Plan. Stickleberries will claim this on your behalf.

 More information is available at

          Dorset Family Information Services (FIS)             01305 224800

          Web site:                www.dorsetforyou.com/fis

          Email:                    familyinfor@dorsetcc.gov.uk

Sessions for School-Age Children

After School Club…

Stickleberries after school club offers a safe, caring and fun environment for your child, after school for children aged 4 to 11 years.
We collect the children from Dunbury Academy and other local schools at the end of the day and bring them back to Stickleberries where there is an extensive range of appropriate toys and activities to keep them entertained, occupied and amused.

The children are provided with drinks and a healthy snack such as fresh fruit or vegetables, crumpets, filled pittas or mini jacket potatoes. The service operates between the hours of 3.00pm and 6pm on school days

 Early Birds…

This service is available from 7.45am each morning.

Holiday Club…

 Stickleberries Holiday Club is open to children aged 3m – 11yrs and runs themed activity days and weeks during the Christmas, Easter and Summer holidays, as well as the half term breaks.

And finally…

Thank you for choosing Stickleberries. We look forward to working with you and your child!


* A daily fee will apply to all children (including funded children) of 75p per day.

This cost goes towards snack and resources.

*Prices revised on 1st June 2020


School pick up and drop off:     £2.00 each way


Pick Ups and drop offs                                                                                                                         £ 2.00

Hot Lunches                                                                                                                                            £2.75

Nappies (each)                                                                                                                                  £ 1.00