Hobby Horse Nursery and Children's Centre

We provide childcare for up to 62 children a day, between the ages of three months and five years.

We provide an environment where each child is valued and feels secure and happy. The centre was Ofsted rated ‘good’ in every area in its most recent inspection (November 2021).

We are open to the public from Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm.

Open to the public

We provide childcare for up to 62 children a day, between the ages of three months and five years.

  • Open 51 weeks of the year
  • Two-year-old funding: Registered to take children who are in receipt of two-year-old funding.
  • 15- and 30-hours funding: Registered to take children who are aged over three years and in receipt of 15- and 30-hours funding.
  • School holiday playscheme: For children who are in full time education, up to the age of ten years 11 months.

Visit Childcare Choices to check your eligibility for funded places and sign up for Tax Free Childcare.

Please see our fee structure for more information.

Places for the children of the staff and students

We offer places for children of our staff and students at the college, as well as to children from the wider community.

Superior standards of care

Our staff qualifications exceed the minimum standards set by the Government. For example, all staff are Paediatric First Aid trained, which is not required by law, but we feel this is very important.

The centre has been established for 29 years and is run by experienced, qualified nursery staff. We feel that it is important to get to know each child individually, finding out their likes and dislikes and building on their interests to incorporate them into the daily activities we have on offer. You can be confident that we will work with you, offering a fun and loving atmosphere for your little ones to develop into confident and independent individuals.

Each child’s learning journey is different and starts with developing a good bond with their keyworker. It is important that you feel happy to leave your child with the staff at the centre as this will be one of the most important choices you make.

Fees and Opening Hours

We are open Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:30pm.

By arrangement, children can arrive early from 8am and can have a later finish time of 6pm. Early starts and late finishes need to be booked with the Centre Manager in advance.

Please see our fee structure regarding costs for extra services, such as early starts/late finishes, more information regarding fees, closure dates and our payment policy. 

Frequently asked Questions

You can contact us by emailing hobbyhorse@activatelearning.ac.uk or by phoning 01295 250687 / 01865 551 662. We would be happy to send you one of our prospectuses or you can download one digitally from this webpage.

We are attached to Banbury and Bicester College and provide childcare for staff and students at the college. We also take children from the wider community, if you are interested in a place for your child please contact us. The centre has five base rooms and three outdoor garden areas for your child to develop their existing skills and learn through play.

Yes, we have a free car park which is situated in front of the nursery.

Yes, you are welcome to come and visit us face to face. Just contact us and we'll arrange a time convenient for you.

We do not have the facilities to provide food at the centre, but we do provide water and milk (throughout the day) and a healthy snack in the morning and afternoon. We ask that you provide a lunch box or appropriate food for children in our baby room and nappies, wipes etc. as well as a bag with spare clothes.

Yes, before you child starts at the centre you will be offered settling-in sessions which will enable your child to become familiar with the nursery environment and give you the opportunity to meet your child’s keyworker and ask any questions you may have, please contact us for more information.

Have A Look Around

We have five base rooms where a keyworker and buddying system operate:

The Honey Bee Room

Our baby room: from three months up to approximately 15 months

The room is made to feel like home, with an eating, sleeping and play area. We work in partnership with parents to ensure that their child’s individual needs are met in a fun, safe and secure environment.

The Busy Bee Room

Our toddler room: from 15 months up to approximately two years

This is a spacious room offering a range of toys and activities which encourage children to develop their interests, learn new skills and play happily together.

The Caterpillar Room

Our nursery room: children from two years to three years

The room comprises of a large play area offering fun and enjoyable activities, which are on offer throughout the day, allowing free choice and interactive play during each session.

The Butterfly and Ladybird Rooms

Our pre-school rooms: children from three years to five years

The Butterfly and Ladybird Rooms have defined areas of development linking in with the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

Our Aims

Our team of highly qualified staff aim to provide an environment where children are encouraged to learn through play, promoting all aspects of their development. This is done by:

  • giving a 'home from home' experience, where staff can follow babies’ routines and parents’ own values to ensure continuity of care
  • working towards the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
  • promoting equality of opportunity for all children and families
  • providing a safe, stimulating environment in which children feel confident to make choices and to become independent learners
  • giving both parent and child the support of a personal keyworker
  • offering opportunities for you and your family to be involved in your child’s activities and progress

If you would like to find out more, or enrol your child into the centre, please contact us:

01295 250 687 / 01865 551 662


By Post:

Helen Collins (Centre Manager),
Hobby Horse Children’s Centre
Banbury and Bicester College, Broughton Road
Banbury, Oxon
OX16 9QA

The Hobby Horse

Open to the public

View more details on our excellent facilities below!