Why Not Stay A While Longer?

At Dandelion, we are advocates of child-led entry into the compulsory schooling system.

We actively encourage children to stay with us for their reception year, where they are free to continue learning in a play-based , child-led environment; where they are free from the anxieties that may arise from being in a structured classroom at too young an age.

This means that your child will enter school when they are developmental ready to do so, and not when their birthday dictates.

This works particularly well for summer-born children, who can often be almost a whole year younger than their peers, and thus at a very different developmental stage. It also works well for children who need a play based, child-led approach for a little longer, and who are simply not ready for structured learning.

Our ethos builds the skills that children need to transition smoothly; it empowers children so that can confidently, and articulately, manage new social situations easily.

Our teachers know the skills that each individual child needs to develop; our approach prepares your child for a more secure, contented future, where they are able to meet their potential with confidence, independence, and self-efficacy.

Dandelion is managed by qualified Primary School teachers, who know how to teach children to read and write; who know how to develop mathematical skills; who know how to develop a child in a child-led environment where learning is an organic part of play.

Read our Teach wire article


This is what our parents think


Siobhan and Chris

Dandelions has been a breath of fresh air for our family and a real game changer. Here we have found a place where our child’s self confidence, independence and awareness of others is being lovingly nurtured. Whilst at the same time, his desire to explore, experiment, create and question is supported and encouraged. The adults are very conscious and considered in their use of language to show the children that they are respected and in turn, they are guided to treat others with respect and compassion. Our son is treated as the individual human that he is and we couldn’t be happier with this approach. Plus we LOVE seeing his gigantic grin shining through his muddy little face at the end of the day. We only wish there were a Dandelions for grown-ups…we’d be first in line!

Lucy and Lucy

‘Although our son has been at dandelions for some time, he had recently been through a ‘wobble’ and been anxious at drop off time. I have noticed however that when Julie is around, he will trot in quite happily! She takes the time to engage with him, and knows just what will help him to forget his anxieties. Their time at the tool table has resulted in some wonderful creations!’

You’re all amazing!

‘Our sensitive son took quite some time to settle in at nursery, it was the first time he’d ever been away from us, but I found that the supportive and inclusive ethos of dandelion made a challenging situation very smooth and almost painless! They allowed us to settle him in slowly, taking our time and were truly parent/child led, which worked really well for our family. There were no tears! (Not even ours!)’

Thanks for all that you have done and still do! 


A year ago, having only just turned 4, our daughter was in no way socially or emotionally ready to start school. With the support of Emma and Hayley, we were granted a deferred reception place at our chosen school, and our daughter was able to spend an extra year attending Dandelion three days per week. Spending her reception year at Dandelion was the best decision we could have made to help prepare her for school. At Dandelion our daughter was able to develop her social skills and grow in confidence at her own pace. She thrived in an environment where she felt secure and nurtured, whilst also having plenty of opportunities to learn and develop new skills through role play and creative exploration. In the last year our shy little girl, who used to find it difficult to speak to other children, has developed into a socially confident girl with many friends, who often initiates and leads role play games, and confidently expresses her ideas in the group. Thanks to the creative early years curriculum and excellent teaching skills of the Dandelion staff, our daughter’s Maths and phonics skills are impressive for her age. She will be starting school already able to add up numbers and read and write simple words.
Our daughter is now excited about starting school in September and we feel that she is ready to, even though we will all miss Dandelion a lot….