Welcome to the
Barbican Nursery

Introduction to our Nursery

Welcome to Hatching Dragons Barbican, the first of our bilingual Mandarin Chinese nursery settings, most recently achieving a Good (with some Outstanding features- like our Level 5 Safeguarding Trained Staff) rating from Ofsted.

It’s been a wonderful ride setting up a nursery in Central London. We opened up this – our first nursery setting – in Jewin Chapel, the home of the Welsh Presbyterian Church in London, back in May 2015Back then, no one had done what we were planning to do – a fully immersive Mandarin Chinese day nursery environment that complied with and exceeded the requirements of early years educational providers for the EYFS Framework. And our little dragons were looking for a home. No better place to start then – where Welsh Dragons and Chinese Dragons could co-mingle, slap bang in the middle of London. Somewhere where everyone could get to.

Our Local Nursery Area

Some people thought it was an odd place to set up a nursery, being so close to the City. Isn’t it a bit too built up for a nursery? We couldn’t have thought of a better place. Nurseries close to home might be convenient en route to work. But not if you have to race across London if you need to see your baby. And not if you compare what residential based nurseries have on their doorstep versus what we have on ours. They might have a garden. We have the Barbican High Walk. and Fortune Park, with its own child friendly playground, on our doorstep. They might have a pond. We have the River Thames (and our own pond with turtles in the Golden Lane Estate, just opposite our front door). They might have history class. We have real history – St Pauls Cathedral and Museum of London on your doorstep anyone? Trust us when we say, City living is the best place to learn to live in the City.

Our Nursery Community

But who lives in the centre of the city anyway? Turns out lots of people. Our families are not just the commuter-workers of the City, but the jewellery designers, advertising strategists, fashion designers and independent shop owners of the local community. And having local families and workers means that we can have them over for monthly community events and festivals that show case the nursery and what the children have learnt over the month. See our event page for more details.

Our Barbican Nursery Family

Hatching Dragons WestminsterAnd today it is a bustling family of over 45 families coming in and out throughout the week. We do, after all, offer a flexible provision of five hour sessions in the morning or afternoon or for a full day, every day, all year round so our families pick and choose a routine that best suits their needs. Our children age from 6 months through to confident, courageous and capable five year olds, speaking Mandarin and English from time to time as the case may be, If you’d like to see more, why not check out the videos and book in a visit to see us today!


Our nurseries regularly host free community events and outreach programmes for local families to come and join the fun to see what the children have been getting up to. From Chinese New Year to Halloween and regular shadow puppetry and mandarin music playgroups, there’s something for everyone. Please see our event page to browse events and make a booking.

View events

Get in Touch

You can always reach us on the email, enquiries@hatching-dragons.com  or call us on 020 7256 9365 but if you’d like to receive periodic updates on our events, announcements, availability and educational materials, please just click the sign up button below to starting receiving our monthly newsletters.

1 Viscount Street, London, EC1Y 0AA

Find us on…


Hatching Dragons Westminster Brochure

For all fee information and more detail regarding our provision at the Barbican, please click here view for our digital brochure.

Hatching Dragons Westminster on FacebookHatching Dragons Barbican

Our Staff

Priscilla Chen Chandler

NVQ Level 3 Childcare & BA Hons Chinese Opera
Paediatric First Aider & First Aider at Work
Primary Designated Safeguarding Officer (level 5) & Health & Safety Officer

Having worked as an Ofsted rated Outstanding Childminder in North London for years, Priscilla stepped away from childcare to start work in a small business as the administrations and office manager, which is where we found her. Initially working as the administrator for the nursery, Priscilla was quickly promoted to the position of Deputy and then ultimately manager last year for her administrative nous, amazing relations with everyone and experience in management.

Helen Zhu
Deputy Manager

MA Early Years Education (Institute of Education) and BA Hons Pre School Education (Zhejiang University, China); Paediatric First Aider; Deputy Designated Safeguarding Officer (Level 5)

Having worked as the Pre-school teacher in one of Hangzhou’s most prestigious pre-schools for 3 years post-graduation, Helen and her family emigrated to the UK so she could continue her studies in early years education at the Institute of Education, the top ranked educational institute in the world. After graduating in 2010 she’s worked a variety of educational institutions and joined the Hatching Dragons team as a practitioner in 2015. She became our deputy manager last year.

Shafia Khatun
Senior Practitioner

Level 6 – BA Hons Early Childhood Studies, University of East London, Paediatric First Aider,
Safeguarding Level 5 – Designated Officer Grade

Shafia joined the nursery in 2016 as a pre-school room specialist. Having graduated with a degree in Early Childhood studies from UEL after working for years in the sector she assumed responsibility for the pre-school room as maternity cover initially and then latterly as the on-going lead, supported by our Pedagogy Manager, Sophie. A skilled artist in her own right, many of the wonderful wall paintings are done by her own fair hand (and the children’s!)