Thursday 23 June 2016


A recent survey commissioned by The Co-operative Childcare found that 81% of parents believe that children’s experiences at pre-school can affect their social skills in later life. 

The survey conducted by Censuswide revealed that although academic subjects like reading and writing were of high importance to parents, social and physical skills like riding a bike were also highly rated. 

Responses from more than 1,000 parents with children aged between two-and-a-half and five years’ old, discovered that over a third of parents would have preferred to have learnt how to ride a bike at a younger age over learning a skill such as reading or writing.

Almost half of the parents surveyed said they want their children to learn to ride a bike while they are still at pre-school and 42% confessed to worrying that their pre-schooler would struggle to make new friends in a new environment.

Mike Abbott, Group General Manager at The Co-operative Childcare, which operates 44 nurseries across the UK, said: “Where education remains hugely important, non-academic activities are also a big part of a child’s early development, allowing them to explore their creativity, individuality and of course to socialise and interact with their peers.

“It’s interesting to see that 49% of parents want their child to learn to ride a bike at pre-school, which was almost as highly rated as academic development. This is why we’ve worked with parents to launch our pre-school programme which will see children benefit from extra activities in familiar nursery surroundings, giving them the opportunity to develop their confidence and social skills before they head to school.”

Launched this week (Monday 20th June), The Co-operative Pre-school includes a new uniform and book bags for children between three and five years-old, to help them feel more comfortable with the transition between nursery and primary school. An educational programme that includes communication, language, mathematics, literacy as well as lessons on understanding the world, physical development and art and design help to prepare pre-school children for school lessons.

Every nursery in the chain will also benefit from the investment in balance Islabikes, and dedicated cycle lessons that allow children to learn to ride a bike at their own speed, alongside the regular curriculum. 

Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association, said: “Private and social enterprise day nurseries such as NDNA member The Co-operative Childcare are a great option for parents when it comes to choosing a place for their child’s preschool education.

“Private, and social enterprise nurseries are flexible on days and times that children can attend, to suit the needs of busy, working families. Many have fantastic facilities and pride themselves on being able to offer an amazing range of activity as well as standard educational teaching such as reading and writing.”

Mike continued: “The move from nursery to primary school is a big one for young people and the impact on them shouldn’t be under estimated. Our pre-school programme aims to provide children with the skills they’ll need at school, whilst still in the familiar surroundings of their nursery, with colleagues they know and trust.”

For more information on The Co-operative Pre-school, please call 0800 954 0669, email or visit

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