About us

We are a community-based pre-school. That means we are managed by a voluntary committee made up of parents, carers and people from the local community who have your interests at heart (we are not a business!) However, we employ a manager and four senior pre-school practitioners who handle the day-to-day running of the Pre-School.

We’re really proud of our setting, particularly the caring, family-like atmosphere it has. This is mainly because of our experienced and committed staff who are all parents themselves and who have been with the Pre-School for a very long time.


We are a charity so everything we earn is used to pay staff and keep the pre-school running. If we make any profit, this gets re-invested to improve the environment and facilities for the children.


Our pre-school was established in 1972. It originally began at the local village hall and in 2008 it moved to its current location in Hulland Primary School. This made the transition for children starting primary school a lot easier.


Our team

Mary Boam, Manager

Works: Monday mornings, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

Mary is a mother of four and also a granny. She is an experienced

pre-school practitioner and has been with us since 1988! Mary works hard to develop a good rapport with very young children and an excellent working relationship with their parents. She believes that young children should grow up and develop in a safe and caring environment, reflecting the aspirations of hard-working parents.

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Ros Cowley, Senior Pre-School Practitioner

Works: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday morning, Friday morning

Ros is an experienced mother of four and her own children attended our Pre-School. Originally training as a primary school teacher, she has worked in many schools with younger children, particularly Reception classes. This puts her in an ideal position to help children prepare for school. Ros has also gained lots of experience through babysitting, nannying and working at a local creche. She quickly and calmly puts children at ease with her approachable manner.

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Ann Gibson, Senior Pre-School Practitioner

Works: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday afternoon.

Ann has worked here since 1993 so has a wealth of invaluable experience. She’s originally from Dumfries in Scotland but moved to Hulland Ward in 1993 with her family. Ann was involved in the local Women's Institute for many years and was also the leader of the Hulland Beaver Colony for 17 years.


Julie Sears, Senior Pre-School Practitioner and SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)

Works: Tuesday, Wednesday.

Julie has worked here since 1998 but had a break to bring up her children. She lives in Ashbourne with her husband Tim and their three children, who are all now grown up. Julie loves her job at Pre-School and really enjoys celebrating the achievements of the children. Julie is a warm and caring person who enjoys making Pre-School a place where children and parents feel at home and happy.

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Sue Cartwright, Senior Pre-School Practitioner

Works: Monday.

Sue is married with three children (all boys!) who are now grown up. She joined Pre-School in 1995 but had a break to bring up her children. She lives locally on a farm and loves to be outside in all weathers. At Pre-School Sue really enjoys creative activities i.e. making a mess!

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