ONE of the oldest pre-school groups in South Cheshire is celebrating a milestone anniversary at its new base in Nantwich.

Little Crickets, previously known as Nantwich Pre-School Playgroup, has marked a first birthday in its purpose-built base at Highfields Academy, Cumberland Avenue.

Generations of children have enjoyed learning through play since the facility first opened its doors in the Guy Harvey Youth Club on Birchin Lane back in 1966.

After a spell operating out of Nantwich Cricket Club, the group moved to a permanent base at Highfields and over the past year it has gone from strength to strength with the support of the Academy and its management team.

The workforce has grown to seven members of staff with more than 90 years’ experience between them and a high ratio of adults to children ensures lots of individual attention.

Manager Helen Dobbie said: “Our aim is to create a home from home environment so children can relax and be happy and their parents can feel as if they are leaving them with family and have complete peace of mind.

“Over the years we have had the privilege of meeting many local families and generations have attended our pre-school. It is lovely to see children of past pupils now attending.”

Little Crickets offers funded places to two to four year-olds and 30 hours of provision to eligible families as well as privately-funded sessions.

Children work to the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum to learn about the world around them and develop their literacy, numeracy, speech and language skills ahead of primary school.

Helen added: “We’ve been part of the Nantwich community for over 50 years and take great pride in offering a nurturing environment where children make friends and prepare for their big journey ahead.

“We have had the best year settling into our new home at Highfields Academy and have welcomed new staff and families throughout the year. We’ve had the privilege of seeing these young people develop and grow into amazing individuals.

“Although they leave us, they remain in our hearts and we keep close ties with their families in the community.”

Youngsters ended the summer term on a high with fun and games to mark the first anniversary and when they return in September there will be lots to look forward to.

Little Crickets will have an official opening ceremony before teaming up with Bizzybods children’s boutique on Hospital Street, Nantwich to stage an autumn fashion show.

Meanwhile staff are preparing to man a craft stall at Big Day Out family festival on Nantwich showground on July 29 and at Nantwich Food Festival on Friday, August 31.

Parents who are interested in their children attending Little Crickets can go along to meet the team at these events or email For more information visit