Apple Tree Crèche: Learning and growing through play

Our approach is play-based. Children learn and develop physically, socially and intellectually through play and we provide toys and materials that offer a variety of opportunities for symbolic, sensory, physical and cooperative play, both structured and independent.

The first separation

Nursery is often a child's first separation from their primary caregiver. We believe that at this stage it is important for children to be in small groups, with a high teacher to child ratio, so that teachers can respond to each child's individual physical, psychological and cognitive needs and make nursery a successful and positive experience on which they can build when they start school.

We recognise that each child is a unique individual and develops intellectually, socially and physically at their own pace. We observe each child and respond to their specific needs, suggesting materials and activities that match their current interests and stage of development.

The nursery as a place to learn to be with others

Nursery is a place where children begin to learn to be with others and develop their social skills. We put in place a variety of games and activities that encourage children to interact and work together. As children begin to discover the fun of being with others, playing with others and making friends, they also learn about taking turns, sharing (when appropriate), negotiating and resolving conflicts.

The nursery as a laboratory for learning

Children learn by doing, experimenting and observing others. We provide open-ended activities, materials and environments that allow children to play, experiment and interact in their own way and at their own pace. We use play dough, paint, glue, sand, grains, water and a variety of other materials in our explorations. The process is always open and led by the child; the goal is always the process, the experience and the sensations, not the end product.

A guide to autonomy

We believe that letting children do things for themselves builds confidence and a sense of achievement. We create opportunities, support and encourage children on their journey towards autonomy.

Apple Tree Crèche


The objective of the nursery and the activities we propose is twofold.

As a bilingual nursery, our program is designed to familiarise children with a second language. Many activities are done in parallel in the two languages in order to allow the acquisition of the keys to the second language. Our educators interact on an individual basis with each child according to their language needs.

Our activities are also designed for the general social, physical and cognitive development of the children independent of the bilingual aspect.

Above all, and for the two objectives above to be successful, we believe the activities we propose and the time the children spend at playgroup have to be fun, and enjoyable and positive experience.

Circle Time

Circle time is focused on language development and socialisation. In addition of the routines of circle-time, such as greeting each other, singing our ‘hello song’, talking about the weather, etc. New vocabulary words are introduced each week through stories, games songs, action-songs, etc.


Workshops are proposed each day, including music, fine motor, gross motor, arts/crafts, cooking and various movement workshops.

Each activity is suggested rather than imposed. We respect each child's choice and the importance of being an observer, choosing their own activity or simply daydreaming.

Free Play

There are a variety of toys, as well as a large selection of books accessible to the children at all times.

Apple Tree Crèche

Typical Day

Older children:

09:30 Circle Time and free play
10:30 Snack
11:00 Structured Activity
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Nap-time
Snack: according to wake-up time
Free play and movement activities

Younger Children:

09:30 Circle Time and free play Milk / Snack / Naps as needed
Lunch on request
15:00-17:00 Snack on request

Settling In / Adaptation

We offer a gentle and flexible settling in period, according to each family’s needs lasting a minimum of a week. The adaptation will be planned with each family individually once the registration is confirmed.


We are very excited about cooking in our modern new kitchen!

Our nursery will offer healthy home cooked meals, with a varied menu and high quality organic and/or local ingredients, freshly prepared in our new kitchen.