The Hobby Horse

The Hobby Horse Children’s Centre is part of the Activate Learning Group and is based at Banbury and Bicester College.

Owned and managed by Banbury and Bicester College, Hobby Horse Children’s Centre offers a safe and stimulating environment for children.

We aim to provide an environment in which each child is valued and feels secure and happy. The centre was Ofsted rated ‘good’ in every area in its most recent inspection (2016). 

We provide childcare for up to 62 children a day, between the ages of three months and 10 years including an after-school club where we collect students from Queensway Primary School. We take children of the staff and students at the college and then children from the wider community. We are registered to take children who are in receipt of 2-year-old funding and the 15 and 30 hours funding for children who are aged over three years. Please see our fee structure sheet for more information. 

The centre has been established for 26 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. 

See our latest Covid-19 Statement. 

If you would like to find out more, or enrol your child into the centre, please make an enquiry.

Phone: 01295 250687 / 01865 551 662 

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

Have A Look Around 

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

The Honey Bee Room 

Our baby room: from 3 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 2 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 2 years to 3 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 3 years to 5 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: 

  • Providing 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 
  • 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. 

Phone: 01295 250687 / 01865 551 662 

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

Fees and Opening Hours

Please see our fee structure sheet for more information regarding fees, closure dates and our payment policy. 

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 sheet regarding costs for this extra service.

Frequently asked Questions

You can contact us by emailing 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.

We have amended all our nursery policies and ensure that we comply with the latest Government guidelines regarding Covid-19. We ensure that all our children, parents and staff are aware of the new procedures and keep them regularly updated.

At present, due to Covid-19, we are not able to carry out viewings. Please view our virtual tour and feel free to contact us directly if you have any specific questions.

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 note that we have had to implement new procedures due to Covid-19, please contact us for more information.

The Hobby Horse

  • Address
    Banbury and Bicester College, Broughton Road, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 9QA

Open to the public

View more details on our excellent facilities below!