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Clare Bears Pre-School (formerly Clare Playgroup) was founded in 1974. Since that time the group has changed to meet the needs of today. We are a member of the Suffolk 'List of Childcare Providers'  and can therefore offer government funded places to eligible 2, 3 and 4 year olds. We are also a member of the Pre-School Learning Alliance and are registered with Ofsted EY554130.

We are located in the centre of Clare in The Old School Community Centre. This stunning  listed building was built as an Elementary School in 1862 before becoming a Primary School then finally closing in 1974 when the original 'playgroup' was founded. We operate out of two large rooms with an excellent and a well designed outdoor area. Our staff team is very experienced and committed to supporting children and their families. It is important to us that your child is happy and secure and makes good progress during their time at Clare Bears. We have good links with the local community, including the local schools and Health Visitors. 

Exploring our local area

We take regular trips (several times each week) out to explore the natural environments in our locality. By investigating and exploring our local natural environment we are able to adopt the ‘forest school’ ethos into our teaching and learning provision. Our aim is for your child to experience nature and the outdoor environment in a safe, secure and hands on way. The children are encouraged to investigate & explore but also to respect all living things. Children learn best from first hand experiences, exploring, playing and so learning using a range of activities is what outdoor learning is all about. Building a sense of independence, high self-esteem and team work are important, but health and safety considerations are always of paramount importance. We complete thorough risk assessments for all our outings and these are available for you to view in the setting.

Our recently renovated outdoor area

We believe outdoor play and exploration are an essential part of learning and growing up. At Clare Bears we understand that children need and want to take some risks when they play. We aim to respond to these needs and interests by offering the children a stimulating and challenging environment where they can explore and learn. We have developed our garden to provide children with the greatest variety of experiences, challenges, controlled risks and resources that inspire awe and wonder!

In our garden children can learn and interact with natural elements; they can be little scientists when exploring water in our water garden, weigh and balance using our bucket scales and/or cook up some food using natural resources for our outdoor café. They can climb and design an obstacle course, build and role play in our crate car/bus, investigate and create sounds and music on our music wall, explore and make marks with paints, crayons and pens on our easel or chalkboard table or read a book in our playhouse cosy area. They can explore our sensory plants and see/care for what else is currently growing in our garden area, they can investigate creatures living in our bug hotel or watch for birds visiting our feeding station.

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