Love, Laughter and Learning

About Us

Our Approach

Paint Pots has a loving and homely environment, which is safe, secure and stimulating. The emotional, social and physical development of all the children in our care is our primary concern. We ensure equality of opportunity for all children. We promote self respect and a respectful, caring attitude towards our environment and others.

We treat each child as an individual in terms of his/her needs and learning journey. We have high expectations of each child and work to achieve the best possible outcomes in partnership with parents.

We assess progress and plan activities to support each child on to their next step of development. In doing this, we plan to give each child the best of starts in life.     

Our Staff

All our staff have been carefully chosen for their ability, dedication and love of children, in addition to their qualifications. We have a high staff to child ratio which allows us to really get to know the children in our care and to help them realise their full potential. We are always available to discuss any suggestions or concerns you may have.

Our History

Paint Pots has always been far more than just a business to us. Our mission is rooted in our personal journey.

We have always had an affinity and heart for young children and their families. We understand many of the problems that are faced by our parents, we had many years of treatment at local hospitals to enable us to have our older children, we lost one of our sons at 2 days old and another when he was 10 months old, we cared for our other two babies born at 29 weeks and adopted a 5 year old a few years later. 

We understand how precious children are. We never take having them for granted and we recognise the enormous responsibility of caring for them as well as the tremendous privilege of being able to share our lives with them. We are grateful that families choose to put their trust in us to care for their children. 

Paint Pots Pre-School was started in Anna and David’s home in 1993, this continued for many years and they only had the courage to borrow half a million pounds and expand when sadly Anna was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis - what was there left to lose! 

In 2000, Paint Pots Pre-school & Nursery was established with our move into Waterloo Road, Freemantle, since when we have gradually added new settings across the Southampton area – all within easy travelling distance.

As we have grown, we work continuously to ensure each one of our settings – nursery, preschool or after-school provision retains  the homely, caring atmosphere that we believe is the outworking of our motto Love, Laughter and Learning.

We can’t promise we will never lose a sock; that we will never send home the wrong shoes, coat bags etc; or that all our paper work will be spell checked and our invoices perfect,  but we can promise that the children we care for will always have a cuddle when they need one, will be given the opportunity to make a mess, jump, climb, sing, learn and laugh – they will be loved.

Paint Pots in the 1990s

Our Services

Operating Hours

Our day nurseries accept children full and part time. The standard opening hours are 8:00am till 6:00pm, 51 weeks of the year. (Breakfast sessions with an earlier start 7:30 - 7:45 are available at some nurseries). As soon as your child is eligible for government childcare funding we will inform you and deduct this from your fees.

Our preschools are open between 8:30 - 3:30 term-time only. We also provide before (7:40 - 9:00) and after school (3:30 - 6:00) care in our out-of-school clubs.  


Lunch and Tea, mid-morning and afternoon snacks are included in nursery fees. A typical day's menu will look something like: 

  • Lunch - roast chicken, fresh vegetables, fruit crumble and custard.
  • Morning snack - fruit and milk/water.
  • Afternoon - crackers milk/water.
  • High Tea - assorted rolls, fruit, and homemade cake.

We cater for special dietary needs or food allergies. Meal times are fun and a wonderful opportunity to socialise, learn table manners and help each other. Many parents are surprised at the wide range of foods their children will eat when in this sociable atmosphere.

Where we have outsourced food preparation at some of our settings, our nursery catering is supplied by Hungry Monsters

Age Groups

The children in our day nurseries are grouped roughly by age but we are able to adjust this to suit the individual. Each age group has their own base room and staff. 

  • Babies 4 to 18 months
  • Toddlers 18 to 33 months
  • Pre-School 33 months plus

All children join other age groups from time to time, for a meal, singing etc., which helps maintain our special family atmosphere

Our Curriculum


Our activities are assessed against the government's "Early Years Foundation Stage" guidance which covers children aged 0 - 5 years and continues on into the School Foundation Year.

Our children are offered activities through a 'Continuous Curriculum' supplemented by long term plans following the 'Flow of the Year'. Weekly and daily activities follow the children's interests, often taking the form of 'in the moment' planning. Teachers support and supplement these activities to extend and widen the children's knowledge, capabilities and dispositions. Through our curriculum, we encourage all areas of learning and growth in both self-esteem and social skills. Activities and routines take place both in and out of doors as appropriate. All of the time your child is with us is viewed as a teachable moment, be it singing, running around, eating or having a nappy change.

Activities & Facilities

Activities include (but are not limited to!) painting, drawing, music and movement, role play, cooking, crafts, water/sand play, construction toys, singing, games, visits out and visitors in and woodwork.

We recognise the importance of the outdoor environment and use our outside facilities as much as possible.

A quiet corner where books are available is always on offer, as well as activities to help the development of reading and writing skills. To ensure consistency of approach, we have policies covering every area including Special Needs, Admissions, and Parental Involvement etc. These are available for you to read from the parents section of this website. We have received extremely complimentary OFSTED inspections.


Relationships underpin everything we do. The way we live, talk, have fun, respect, trust, value, celebrate, support and encourage each other, creates special relationships that are the life of Paint Pots.


We are committed to providing the highest level of service. While inspection reports and accreditations are important, we encourage you to meet us and see for yourself how we care for and develop children.


Our Ofsted inspection reports are available to read from each nursery / preschool's page on this website


We know that high quality is linked to trained staff. Training is a key element of staff development at Paint Pots. Every day is a learning opportunity.

The majority of our staff hold a qualification at level 3 (A level equivalent) or above. We also employ Early Years graduates.

We support staff training across many areas including - child development, the early years curriculum, leadership, management, health and safety, safeguarding, human resources, computer skills, administration, maths, English and customer service.

We ensure all our staff are trained to ensure they all hold a current First Aid certificate.

Children and Parents

Most importantly, we listen to our children and parents. Your views as carers and parents are most important to us. We really welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. These are helpful in shaping what we do.


We teach children right from wrong; learning to take turns and share. We challenge negative views and stereotypes. We have clear and negotiated boundaries of behaviour. Our 'Golden Rules' and positive behaviour policy effectively support the fundamental values of democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths or beliefs. 

Meeting All Children's Needs

We recognise that even though they are very young, children join us with a variety of life experiences and individual needs. Research shows that the input children receive in the early years is crucial for their later attainment. We work with you, as parents, to identify where your child might need additional support so that we are able to provide this together.

The government gives financial assistance (Early Years Pupil Premium - EYPP) to Early Years providers to support 3 and 4 year old children identified as coming from economically disadvantaged households and those who are in care or have been in care. We use this funding to provide additional targeted support for each eligible individual based on our assessment of his/her development level.

We have previously pooled our EYPP funding across all our settings and put it towards the cost of training for all our staff in a music programme from Boogie Mites - a specialist Early Years music provider. As part of the package, we continue to receive access to Boogie Mites music catalogue. Our teams deliver a programme of activities for all our children focused on developing a sense of rhythm, movement, language, emotional and social skills. For children needing additional language support, we have seen improvements in their capabilities.