Welcome to Playlanders

A Cambridge based playgroup

About Us...

Playlanders is a Registered Charity, not-for-profit community group and is a member of the Pre-school Learning Alliance.

We welcome all children aged 2 and over. We have no catchment area, no application deadlines and no application fees.

"Thank you all so much for all you've done for (our daughter). You have helped make her the confident girl she is now. We have loved having her at Playlanders and we are all sad that it's time to move up to school."

Parent Testimonial, 2015

We operate in St George's Church Hall on Chesterfield Road. Originally St Christopher’s Nursery operated in the Church Hall, and closed in the spring of 1978, when the owner died. A group of parents who had children attending the nursery got together and decided to re-open as a playgroup. Playlanders was chosen as the name for the new group, and they opened their doors in April. Initially there were 3 staff, all of whom had children attending, and a further 12 children. The current head, Susan Lister, had a child attending when the playgroup opened.

Many things have changed over the years, but a few have stayed the same. Susan is still there, and so is one of the toys - the big red car (which is extremely old, but well maintained, as we inherited it from the nursery). Over a thousand children have come and gone. There are children attending now whose parents were at Playlanders in the early years, and some of our current staff used to attend the group at the very beginning as children.

We are open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays during school terms. This means that the families who send their children to us have the option of days in the week when they can do things together, or just rest and do nothing at all! We offer a choice of two or three morning sessions of 9.15 to 12.15 for children aged 2 and over, and we also offer the option of Lunch Club for children once they have settled in. From the September after their third birthday we also offer extra afternoon sessions, so that children can stay with us until they begin to attend school in Reception rather than transfer to Nursery. We call this group Playgroup plus.

Since the beginning of 2015 we have also have a facebook page, which contains information on recent activities, holiday dates, etc. Find it at playlanders playgroup and preschool and remember to 'like' us!

Currently we have spaces for 30 children aged between 2 and 5, and have 5 permanent staff.

“We are very proud of the fact that we have been successfully caring for children in the community for over 40 years.”

The following is an extract from our Ofsted report:

Children show a strong sense of belonging as they greet key-workers and each other upon arrival at the playgroup. They share experiences at snack time discussions and adults encourage children to respect each other’s needs and to use conventions such as ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’. Children work together co-operatively during group activities; they take turns to use the slide and know that ‘we have to share, don’t we?’ Children’s behaviour is very good. Adults provide careful explanations, which young children can understand, to help children know what is expected of them. Suitable strategies are in place to help children with learning difficulties or disability, as well as those who have English as an additional language, take part in a full range of activities and build upon what they already know. Children have opportunities to learn about the world they live in and all members of society. They play with small world figures, look at books and take part in a wide range of cultural and religious celebrations. They talk about their families and what they do at home to learn about each other's family culture. This enables children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development to be fostered.

Meet Our Staff...

All our staff undergo a thorough background check before they are offered employment, and all have Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. All staff have had appropriate First Aid and Safeguarding training.

In actual fact most of our staff are very well known to us as they have had children here in the past, may have done Work Experience with us, and may have attended themselves as a child.

Regular volunteers are subject to the same background checks and DBS checks as staff. Occasional volunteers (usually parent helpers on a Rota basis) do not have the checks, but are never allowed to be alone with the children.

Susan Lister

Susan is the Head Teacher and has worked at Playlanders since 1978. She has a Level 3 qualification, and is responsible for Special Needs, Equalities, and Behaviour management as well as having overall responsibility for Curriculum, Planning, and staff.

Susan is interested in children’s emerging language and literacy, and enjoys music, drama and singing activities.


Cheryl is the Deputy Head and has worked at Playlanders since 2001. She has a Level 3 qualification, and is responsible for Safeguarding and Traveller Support as well as assisting with Planning, behaviour management, and staff.

Cheryl likes singing and drama activities, and art/craft.


Carla has worked part time since 2012, and became a full time staff member in 2014. We know her very well, as she had previously been a parent volunteer when her children were with us. She also has a Level 3 qualification, and has joint responsibility with Cheryl for Safeguarding.

Carla is very good at tidying up and packing a lot of things away in the too small cupboard! She enjoys art activities and outdoor play and is developing parachute play.


Emma has previously been a childminder and has a Level 2 qualification. She had been working with us on a temporary basis, covering for staff absence, and joined our staff permanently from September 2015.

Emma likes sand, water, being active and making a mess!

Aims & Objectives...

  • To learn through play in a safe, stimulating environment with appropriate adult support.

  • To develop at their own pace.

  • To enjoy the company of children other than family members

  • To meet adults from outside the family.

  • To be valued for themselves, whatever their gender, race, culture, beliefs or abilities.
  • To value others, whatever their gender, race, culture, beliefs or abilities.

  • To grow in self-confidence.

  • To learn to make their own choices in a supportive atmosphere.

  • To develop independence by increasingly managing their needs alone.

  • To learn to meet new challenges with the help of supportive adults.
  • To experience success.

  • To cope with failure with help from supportive adults.

  • To find being part of a group a good experience.

  • To enjoy new experiences in an ever-widening environment.

  • To have time to experiment, think, explore, and observe.

  • To have space and time to talk, and peace in which to listen.

Playlanders also aims to:

-Develop a partnership with a child’s main carer.

-Liaise with local schools to develop a working partnership.

-Work with those schools to make the transfer to school (or Nursery) as easy as possible for both the child and the family.

-Liaise with other Health or Education professionals in any way which will support our work with families and offer them a better experience.

For any enquiries please contact Susan Lister:

Have any questions?


01223 420 954


07773 958270

(8.30am to 2pm on

Mon, Tue, Wed

in term time only)


St George’s Church Hall

Chesterfield Road (off Milton Road)


Click here for map

Correspondence address

c/o 80 Ramsden Square



Need some help?


© Copyright 2020 | Playlanders | All Rights Reserved

Playlanders now has a 'Wish list' of items that we need, please click here to view.

We are grateful for any items, large or small.